JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Jackson Academy senior Land Gebhart is a talented kid. He plays baseball. He’s the student body president. He’s going to major in biological sciences. And he can really kick a football.
“The first game I started (in 10th grade) I went four for four,” said Gebhart. “And that’s when I really thought hey I want to do this at the next level.”
Gebhart started kicking in the 8th grade as a hobby, just for fun. But after that first game in 10th grade he’d go on to establish himself as one of the best kickers in the state, and eventually the country when he let it fly at the Chris Sailer Vegas Kicking Camp.
“In the charting portion of camp I ended up hitting some great balls. I ended up scoring very high in the point system. And my kickoffs ended up doing great too, so I ended up coming out of that camp with a five star ranking.”
Even with a five-star ranking, kickers still need to go the extra mile when it comes to recruiting.
“As a kicker it’s kind of like recruiting for yourself. A coach most of the time isn’t really going to come after you, you kind of have to put yourself out there and let them know hey I’m here I want to play at the next level. I remember at one point this year I sent out fifty hand written letters with a flash drive inside of them. I sent them out to almost every power five school you can think of, and a few lower D1 schools that I’d be super excited to go.”
Gebhart started talking with Ole Miss special teams coordinator Blake Gideon, which eventually led to an offer he couldn’t refuse.
“It’s more than a dream come true. I’ve been an Ole Miss fan my entire life. I grew up going to literally almost every home game. I love Ole Miss. I love Oxford. I love that university. I’m super excited to get up there. There’s a great special teams group up there…They are very talented, and I can’t wait to learn from them and talk to them.”
Gebhart says he hopes to get a crack at chasing down his NFL dreams one day, but if that doesn’t work out he’ll go into pre-med or pre-dental.