October 1, 2008

Denver punter/kicker getting looks

Denver East's Zach Grossnickle finds himself among the top kicker/punter targets in the country as well as one of Colorado State's top football recruiting targets.

Through five games this season, Grossnickle is 6-for-6 in field goals with a long of 53 yards and a short of 37 yards. He is also 11-for-13 in extra points and has sent a few of his kickoffs through the uprights of the end zone.

"I have to give credit to my coach, Ron Woolfork who played at CU and in the pros, for having confidence to let me on the field to go for longer kicks," Grossnickle said.

Prokicker.com also has Grossnickle at the top of their lists, noting his 36 yards per punt average and 62 yards per kickoff average. The combination has him listed as the number two kicker/punter combo in the country.
"I put together a new highlights reel and emphasized the punting, which improved a lot after a summer of coaching and practicing," Grossnickle said. "I'm really enjoying punting. I didn't punt much last year, and I that was actually my first year on the football team. As one coach said, good kickers are a dime a dozen, but a good punter is hard to find. I know what he is saying is there are a lot of great kickers available in this cycle. In comparison, there are fewer really good punters, and even fewer combo guys.

Presently, Grossnickle has no scholarship offers have presented themselves, but Colorado State and Washington State have been two of the more consistently communicators with the Angel kicker. He added that USC also calls from time-to-time, while San Diego State, North Carolina State, Northwestern, LSU, Stanford, Cal and Colorado have all placed calls to Grossnickle.

"No scholarship offers, but not many kickers know where they are going yet, so I am not worrying about that," said Grossnickle. "I'm staying focused on my senior season and playing both soccer and football at the same time. A couple of schools have let me know that when they offer a kicker, I'm at the top of their list."

Grossnickle said he is looking for a school with a strong academic reputation and one that had his major in mind. Right now that major could be something in architecture, industrial engineering and design or business. He is also looking for a school which values special teams.

The East punter added that Colorado State has a lot of good things going for it in his recruitment and he enjoys both the coaches as well as the fact it is close to home. That said, there are disadvantages to CSU as well.

"There are also a lot of good things about staying instate, just because you always have your friends and family," Grossnickle said. "My only worry is CSU doesn't have a perfect match for the majors I was considering, architecture or industrial design, but I wasn't 100 percent sure about majors, so I'm still going to take a look at the other academic options."

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