Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Nittany Lions in the Pros - Punters

I have covered all the positions in which former Nittany Lions football players hope to be selected in the 2009 draft. Now it's time to look at the few positions that Penn State isn't placing in the pros this year. To kick things off we'll start with punters (no pun intended).

Punters get little recognition. Unless they boom a crazy 70+ yard kick or squib one backwards, they just do their job and go unnoticed. The position has been pretty steady and reliable over the last few years, from David Royer to Jeremy Kapinos to Jeremy Boone. What about in decades past? And have any made an impact in the NFL? Here is what the stats say.

Click to enlarge statistics.

In 43 NFL seasons, former Penn State punters have appeared in only 16 of them. No Nittany Lion punter participated in an NFL game until Ralph Giacomarro in 1983. He started a 15 year period in which a former PSU punter played in the NFL. Once Greg Montgomery retired after the 1997 season, no punter appeared in the NFL until Jeremy Kapinos in 2007 (one game for the Jets). He punted in four games for the Packers in 2008 as well. The sudden presence of three punters in the 1980's shows just how deep Penn State's two national championship squads were. In 16 seasons, Penn State punters have compiled only one All Pro 1st Team and Pro Bowl selections.

The list of former Penn State punters is short. The list of those that have made in impact are even shorter. Greg Montgomery was the starting punter for six seasons with the Houston Oilers and also played a season with Detroit and two with Baltimore. He is the only former Nittany Lion to earn an All Pro 1st Team selection and a trip to the Pro Bowl (1993). There is some hope that Kapinos latches on and stays with a team. Or perhaps Jeremy Boone can make an impact in 2010.

2009 DRAFT
No former PSU players will be entering this years draft as a punter.

NEXT WEEK: Tight Ends. Is Kyle Brady the best?

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