December 4, 2008

Grossnickle has big week

It has been a busy week for Denver East kicker Zach Grossnickle. The week started off with a trip to Lincoln to watch the CU/Nebraska game, followed by a visit Grossnickle from Colorado State head coach Steve Fairchild and defensive coordinator Larry Kerr to their home. The hits kept coming for Grossnickle later in the week in the form of a scholarship offer from Kansas and the setting up of an official visit to Colorado.

Grossnickle got a first hand view of the family school feud (Dad was a Husker, mom is a Golden Buff) as he and his father attended the NU-CU contest on Saturday. A back-and-forth game gave way to a last second 58-yard field goal by Nebraska kicker Alex Henery to win the game as time expired.

"Nebraska invited me to come down and dad said we could come down and see the level to which they have taken football. That was a really, really exciting game," Grossnickle added. "That blew my mind the way it was going back-and-forth. I didn't think the Nebraska guy had enough leg and he sort of eecked it over and the crowd just went crazy."

On Sunday the Grossnickle house got a visit from the CSU coaches. The result was to set up an official visit to the CSU campus on Dec. 12.

"Coach Fairchild and Coach Larry Kerr came to my house on Sunday," Grossnickle said. "They spent about an hour with me and my parents, just talking about CSU, football, kicking and where I might fit in the program. They were just very friendly and relaxed.

"It was really more like hanging out than a formal visit, because they are both very relaxed guys. But at the end they wanted to be sure I would come up for an official visit, so we scheduled it. Even though I went to two CSU games this year, I never got to see the campus, so that will be a good opportunity for me," Grossnickle added.

The Kansas offer came on Wednesday afternoon and was something of a surprise.

"I got a full ride offer from University of Kansas today," Grossnickle said. "I had visited them this summer briefly, but we hadn't communicated much until recently."

Grossnickle has been hearing from Nebraska, Colorado, Colorado State, Washington State, Kansas and North Carolina. He has taken visits to Colorado, Colorado State, Nebraska and is trying to get to Washington State. The Grossnickle also took a family vacation to California last summer and visited USC, UCLA and Stanford.

Grossnickle set up an official visit to the CU campus in Boulder for January.

"I've been getting more contact from the Nebraska guys," Grossnickle said. "They were focusing on their season and I think I will be talking to more schools or coaches since a lot of their seasons are over."

Grossnickle made 12-of-13 field goals this season with a long of 53 yards. He made 32-of-34 extra points with two attempts blocked. Better than three-quarters of his kick-offs were touchbacks and he averaged 42 yards per punt with a 4.2 second hangtime.

"Coach Fairchild said that they really liked that I was a punter and kicker, because it gives them more depth at both positions," Grossnickle said.

In addition to playing football, Grossnickle also played soccer for Denver East. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Grossnickle will not play soccer in college.

Academically, Grossnickle has a 3.5 GPA unweighted and scored an 1800 on his SAT. He will take his ACT this week. He hopes to major in engineering or business in college.

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