The Colorado football team added some competition at kicker on Tuesday.

CU announced that placekicker James Stefanou, from Australia, has signed a national letter of intent.

"James has a big leg," head coach Mike MacIntyre said in a press release. "We are excited about having him, he is an excellent kicker and he will have a great career here at the University of Colorado."

Stefanou is a 6-foot-1, 187-pound native of Melbourne, Australia. He will turn 30 on April 15, but will have five years to play his four seasons of eligibility. He will also be just the second scholarship kicker on the roster, along with senior Chris Graham.

CU has struggled with consistency in the kicking game since Will Oliver graduated after the 2014 season.

In 2015, Diego Gonzalez was last in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (62.1 percent, 18 of 29).

Last season, Gonzalez tore his left Achilles' tendon in the third game. The Buffs used Graham, freshman walk-on Davis Price and even punter Alex Kinney throughout the rest of the year, but as a group, that trio went 14 of 21 on field goals (66.7 percent) and missed three extra points.

Graham and Price have been competing this spring, along with walk-ons Nick Porter and Taylor Wagner.

Stefanou has spent part of the past six seasons training at ProKick Australia, which helps to transition soccer players to the fundamentals of punting and kicking in American football. The last four Ray Guy Award winners - given to the top punter in college football - all trained at ProKick Australia: Tom Hornsey of Memphis, Tom Hackett of Utah (a two-time winner) and Mitch Wishnowsky of Utah.


Stefanou was an elite level soccer defender, playing for Australia's U19 team and professionally with South Melbourne FC.

According to CU, Stefanou's longest field goal in training was from 63 yards. He plans to study business at CU.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at or