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#15 Zach Grossnickle
Position: Place Kicker/Punter
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 190
Year: Freshman
Hometown: Denver, Colo.
High School: East
Experience: Redshirt
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Grossnickle Photos

AT COLORADO: 2012 (Jr.)—He handled the kickoff duties in nine games, with six of his 21 kickoffs going for touchbacks; many of his kicks were “pooch” style, as the average yard line where the 15 ones that were returned were fielded at the opponent 14.  Six kicks were inside-the-25 and one inside-the-20.  He had two tackles (one solo) covering his own kicks.  He had a good spring, and averaged 46.0 yards on two punts (long of 54) in the spring game. 

2011 (Soph.)—He did not see any action (he did dress for seven games); was second on the depth chart at punter the entire year.

2010 (Fr.-RS)—He became just the fourth player in CU history to serve as the team’s regular punter as a freshman, joining Stan Koleski (’73), Andy Mitchell (’94) and Matt DiLallo (’06); his 60 punts were the most ever by a Buff frosh (until 2011).  He averaged 39.5 yards per punt (second best freshman figure at CU), with a net of 35.7.  He placed 11 kicks inside the opponent 20 (six inside-the-10 and three inside-the-50, with 22 balls fair caught and just two that went for touchbacks; just 23 kicks were returned for an 8.0 average.  He averaged 41.4 yards on 17 punts from inside the CU 25, with his long punt being 52 yards (he had two 50-plus).  He also handled CU’s two free kicks (both punts) after safeties.  He averaged 35.6 yards on 18 punts in the three main spring scrimmages (but had considerably higher numbers in daily drills), while converting 5-of-9 field goals (38 long) and both extra point tries.  He earned the Bill McCartney Award as the most improved special teams player in spring ball, and was the Iron Buffalo Award recipient among all specialists for hard work, dedication, toughness and total poundage lifted in the weight room. 

2009 (Fr.)—Redshirted; practiced as both a punter and placekicker the entire fall.

HIGH SCHOOL—He was ranked as the top placekicker in the western region, and second overall in the nation, by Ray Guy’s prokicker.com (which also pegged him as the No. 2 combo kicker/punter nationally).  Scout.com ranked him as the No. 10 kicker in the nation, while Rivals.com ranked him as the No. 21 kicker in the USA (the top kicker from Colorado and the No. 18 player overall in the state). He earned first-team All-Colorado and All-State (5A) honors by the Denver Post (he was second-team All-State by the Rocky Mountain News) as a senior, when he also garnered first-team All-Central Metro League accolades (formerly known as the Denver Prep League for football; the league name did not change for other sports).  As a senior, he made 12-of-13 field goals, his only miss from 58 yards that had the distance but was wide right; the 12 makes totaled exactly 500 yards (in order: 38, 37, 43, 53, 39, 44, 42, 35, 33, 47, 39, 50), or 41.7 yards per.  His season long was 53 yards against Aurora Central (a Denver East school record, breaking the mark by a yard he had set as a junior) and was 10-of-10 inside of 50 yards.  He connected on 35-of-37 PAT kicks, his only two misses being blocked, thus he scored 70 points for the year, second most by a 5A kicker in the state.  He averaged 40 yards per punt (39 kicks), with 10 over 50 yards and nine inside-the-20, while 92 percent of his kickoffs went for touchbacks.   As a junior, he made 5-of-7 field goals, a long of 52, and 23-of-24 PAT kicks (the miss was blocked), scoring 39 points overall; his 52-yard kick was East’s only points in its second round playoff loss to Thomas Jefferson.  He averaged 39 yards for 12 punts with a long of 56 (three inside-the-20), and 80 percent of his kickoffs were touchbacks.  Top games his senior year included a 49-30 win over Highlands Ranch, when he made three field goals, saw nine of 10 kickoffs go for touchbacks, and punted twice for a 41.5 average; on one of those punts he made the tackle and forced a fumble in the process.  When he kicked his 53-yard field goal against Aurora Central, it opened the scoring of an eventual 47-0 win after a scoreless first quarter, in which he had put both his punts inside-the-20.  He was East’s special teams most valuable player both years he lettered, and he never missed a field goal under 40 yards in his career.  Under coach Ron Woolfork (the former Buff linebacker, 1990-93), East was 7-4 his senior year and 8-3 his junior season, advancing to the second round of the state playoffs both years.   He also lettered twice in soccer, leading East to the state and DPL championships as a senior (in fact, football and soccer are both fall sports in Colorado, so he played the pair simultaneously).  He scored 13 goals and had seven assists, ratcheting up his offense when it counted most, scoring three times each in East’s first two playoff wins over Sand Creek and Liberty.  He was a first-team All-DPL performer his junior and senior years, garnering second-team All-State honors in the latter.  He was also a member of East’s state champion team in Ultimate (flying disc) as a senior.

ACADEMICS—He is pursuing a double major in Business (International Affairs) and Political Science at Colorado and is on schedule to graduate in May 2013.  In 2011, he enrolled in CU’s Maymester/Study Abroad program, where he studied in Florence, Italy, for five weeks.  A National Honor Society member in high school, he owned a 4.22 grade point (on a 4.0 scale) and was enrolled in nothing but AP classes the spring semester of his senior year.

PERSONAL—He was born September 9, 1990 (09-09-90) in Denver.  Hobbies include playing soccer, longboarding, ultimate Frisbee, 3D animation and hanging out with friends.  His father (Reid) lettered in swimming at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.  His older brother, Max, attends CU and is a junior physics major.   In the Ray Guy Academy (kicking camp) in Colorado Springs in July 2008, Zach drilled several kicks well over 50 yards, including a long of 61 (which set a camp record).  He won regional and semifinal competitions in the National Kicking Combine Series the same summer.  Thanks to his soccer days, he might be one of the fastest kickers in the nation, as he has 4.55 speed in the 40-yard dash.


PUNTING 
Season G No. Yds Avg. Long In 20 50+ TB Had Blk Ret Yds Net Yds Net Avg.
2010 12 60 2368 39.5 52 11 2 2 2 184 2144 35.7
2012 9 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Totals 21 60 2368 39.5 52 11 2 2 2 184 2144 35.7

ADDITIONAL STATISTICS—Kickoffs: 21 (6 TB, 3 EZ+, 1 In20, 6 In25). Special Team Tackles: 0,2—2 (2010); 1,1—2 (2012). (Net Yards includes touchback yardage.)



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