This winter I launched my first Coach Zauner College Senior Specialists Combine in Phoenix, Arizona February 20-21, 2010. Sixty-three College Senior Specialists from all over the country and all divisions of college football attended.
After the College Senior Specialists Combine I assemble the results and put together a DVD of the specialists that I felt had the potential to play either in the NFL, CFL or UFL and hand delivered the DVD's to all the NFL Special Teams Coaches back at the NFL Combine. Those coaches or teams I did not see the DVD's were sent out the next week.
Basically every NFL, CFL, UFL and many Arena Indoor Football Leagues received a copy of the results and DVD.
During the next couple of weeks I received calls from several NFL coaches who viewed the DVD and commented on both the quality of specialists and the DVD.
Several players who were not very visible because of schools that they played for or because of the scouting system with specialists were now showing up on certain NFL teams radar screen.
On March 27, 2010 I held my Free Agent Specialists Combine also in Phoenix, Arizona and had 31 NFL, CFL and UFL teams in attendance.
Immediately after the draft, because no kickers or snappers were drafted and normal signing frenzy was on for teams to ink the best available rookie free agents.
Three punters were drafted. However, I believe after evaluating the punting draft class during this years college season, Bowl Games and attending the NFL Combine I believe the best were not selected.
Still on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday I noticed online that more specialists players that were getting calls and signing as free agents or getting calls to be brought in for tryouts.
Today I called several NFL Special Teams Coaches and learned more information. There are many free agents specialists in the next two weeks getting tryouts with teams.
The 80 man roster rule is still having a impact on the number of specialists being brought into camp. Several teams mentioned that they are only bringing in one specialists who is a combination punter/kicker or visa/verse. Matter of fact a couple of teams are not bringing in a long snapper to compete because they are bringing in a tight end, linebacker, fullback or position player that can also snap. This player is what I term a 'Utility Player'.
A perfect example of this player is Sam Scroggins, West Virginia State University who attended one of my PRO Development Camps last summer in St. Paul Minnesota and also my College Senior Specialists Combine who I promoted on my website as a Utility Player. Sam is a good looking athlete that can play TE, DE, LB and Special Teams and also snap.
The value of One on One Lessons and PRO Development Camps paid dividends for these specialists. Morgan Cox, University of Tennessee Snapper, Sam Scroggins West Virginia State University Utility Player, Will Batson University of North Alabama Punter, Blake Hauden University of Minnesota Punter, Garrett Lindholm Tarleton State Kicker and Mike Salerno Northern Illinois Kicker.
Kicking specialists that have signed free agent contracts or are getting tryouts with NFL teams in the next two weeks are:
Morgan Cox - University of Tennessee (Signed by Baltimore Ravens)
Justin Drescher - University of Colorado (Signed by Atlanta Falcons)
Sam Scroggins - West Virginia State University (Signed by Detroit Lions)
Andy Huffman - Purdue University (Tryout with Miami Dolphins)
Kamuela Kapanui - UNLV (Tryout with the St. Louis Rams)
Delbert Alvarado - University of South Florida (Signed by Dallas Cowboys)
Will Batson - University of North Alabama (Tryout with Chicago Bears)
Blake Hauden - University of Minnesota (Signed by Carolina Panthers)
Garrett Lindholm Kicking / Will Batson Holding
Garrett Lindholm - Tarleton State University (Signed by Atlanta Falcons)
Mike Salerno - Northern Illinois (Tryout with Chicago Bears)
Austin Signor - Eastern Illinois (Signed with N.Y. Giants)
Chris Ulinski - Utah State University (Tryout with Cleveland Browns)
I wish all these kicking specialists the best of luck in the upcoming weeks during their tryouts and mini camps.
Also, their are several very good kicking, punting and snapping specialists from my College Senior and Free Agent Specialists Combines still available.
In life being in the right place at the right time also goes in the kicking business. Some specialists are going to camp while others are trying to figure out why they are at home. Sometimes it has nothing to do with the player but the 80 man NFL roster system.
The five UFL teams are holding tryouts in May and June around the country. If you are looking for a shot to get in front of a team check out the UFL website for each teams tryout dates. Each team is allowed 3 dates to tryout players.
I will be holding my PRO Development Camps in May (Arizona), June and July in (Minnesota). If your looking to refine your technique or improve as a kicking unit these kicking camps are designed specifically for specialists working on a 'Path to the NFL'.