Washington State will be replacing not just one, but both of its all-conference specialists in 2021.

Blake Mazza, who was WSU’s kicker from 2018-20, announced Wednesday he would be leaving the Cougars in order to play one final college football season closer to his hometown of Plano, Texas. 

“I want to thank Washington State University for everything you have done for me,” Mazza wrote. “After much thought, prayer and discussion with my family, I have decided to Graduate Transfer closer to home. I am forever grateful for Coug Nation and the Pullman community. God Bless!”

Mazza’s redshirt sophomore season in 2019 went down as the best by a WSU kicker in school history. He made his first 18 field goals of the season, set a program record for field-goal percentage by making 20 of 21 and went 55 of 57 on PATs. It earned Mazza a trip to the Home Depot College Football Awards ceremony, where he was one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award, given to the nation’s top kicker. The 115 points scored by Mazza in 2019 were also the most by a kicker in the Pac-12.

As a redshirt freshman in 2018, Mazza claimed the starting kicker job after transferring from Arkansas. He went 10 of 15 on field goals and was third in the conference with 60 points.

With Mazza transferring and punter/fellow Texan Oscar Draguicevich III leaving for the NFL draft, the Cougars lose one of the nation’s top specialist duos. The Cougars recently brought in kicker Lucas Dunker, a junior college transfer, and have two other specialists listed on the roster: kicker Dean Janikowski and kicker/punter Andrew Boyle.