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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Nick Pertuit Getting Exposure

Kicker Pertuit waiting for call after camp performance
By Daniel Youngblood
Posted April 27, 2010 10.21 PM

Nick Pertuit kicks for the Ruff Riders and coaches soccer at Wylie High School.

With a strong showing at coach Gary Zauner’s Free-Agent Specialists Combine March 26 and 27 in Phoenix, Wylie soccer coach and Ruff Riders kicker Nich Pertuit has done all he can to impress the folks that could hold the keys to his future.

Now, he gets to wait — for a May 15 tryout with the defending United Football League champion Las Vegas Locomotives and for any other opportunities his combine showing might have earned him.

Pertuit was about as efficient as he possibly could have been at the combine, making every field goal he attempted and showing off his leg on kickoffs. But he won’t know for a few more weeks whether or not that was enough to earn him a roster sport in the UFL or an opportunity with an NFL or Canadian Football League franchise.

“There were quite a few NFL scouts and coaches there, and they didn’t talk to too many people, but I had a couple come by and say, ‘Good job,’ and ‘We really like your leg,’ that kind of thing,” he said. “I was able to talk to some UFL coaches as well, but what’s probably going to be happening is in the next few weeks, I’ll probably be hearing a little more because after the draft happens, they’ll start bringing guys in for workouts and minicamps and that sort of deal.

“Really, I’m just kind of waiting until then to hear something back.”

A return to his role with the Ruff Riders has given him something to occupy his time while he waits, but he said he’s not overly anxious.

He has done all he can at this point.

“It’s a process,” he said. “It’s definitely not (that) you do this and you’re in somewhere. It’s a process where I think I did myself enough good and where I think I should be able to get at least an opportunity somewhere.”

The combine’s format allowed Pertuit four kickoffs, the shortest of which he said landed five yards deep in the end zone, and eight field goals, starting from 30 yards out and moving out to 50. He said he was one of four kickers out of 28 to hit all eight of those field goals, and he added bonus kicks of 51 and 54 yards.

Any nerves he had, he hid well.

“When I stepped up to it, it just felt like any other competition I had been in because I’d been to many soccer tryouts,” he said. “So I just approached it the same way. I know what I can do. It’s not like a wrestling or boxing match where I need to beat an opponent, I just have to do the best I can do.

“When I went in, really I wasn’t that nervous. I just really had a good time, and once it started rolling, I could just tell it was going to be a really good day.”

And getting feedback from Zauner, a 13-year NFL coach, and a group of guys that included former NFL kicker Nick Novak didn’t hurt either.

“I think you always compare yourself subconsciously when you go into something like that, so it was a little competitive in nature, but at the same time once I started doing well and the other guys were doing well, there was really a lot of encouragement,” he said. “I thought that was pretty cool.”

Having hired an agent the week after the combine, the next thing Pertuit hopes to hear is opportunity knocking.

He impressed Zauner with his leg and his professionalism, and, with one tryout already locked up, he’d love the chance to do the same for some NFL, CFL or UFL talent evaluators with a contract on the line.

“Really, I just look at it as having fun,” he said. “I love to compete and it’s one of those deals where I don’t feel the pressure because I just think I’m going out there and doing something I want to do anyway.”

NFL, CFL and UFL Coaches Evaluate Specialists Talent

Nick Pertuit Kicking During Coach Zauner's Combine

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