In response to the announcement, a former specialist for the University of Georgia Bulldogs, Cameron Nizialek quoted the tweet thanking Atlanta and Georgia fans for supporting him through his journey and how he will be ready if the Falcons call:
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Well, they called.
Nizialek is expected to try out for Atlanta, according to Jason Butt of the Atlantic Journal-Constitution.
A Continuing Journey
Nizialek is continuing his journey to the NFL after making history at UGA two-years ago.
After receiving his degree from Columbia University in 2017, Nizialek transferred to UGA where he played his last eligible season—the same one that led the dawgs to an SEC Championship win and a trip to the National Championship game. As a dawg, he averaged 45.0 yards over 61 punts.
In between now and then, Nizialek has had some success landing a spot on rosters, but not with the longevity players are looking for.
After his UGA season, the specialist played a short-while with the AAF’s Atlanta Legends, booting a record high 65-yard punt. Younghoe Koo was on the team at the time too. Nizialek ranked second in the league with an average of 47.4 yards per punt. He then was signed by the Baltimore Ravens as a kicker where he competed in two exhibition games before ending with an injury settlement.
Now, the punter-kicker is fully healthy and looking for his next NFL opportunity, hoping to stay close to home (Atlanta).
Nizialek is lucky to have an amazing support system from his ‘Your Georgia Country’ radio host girlfriend, Macie Banks, who narrowed his options down to three teams:
Falcons Invite Two More Punters for Tryouts
Aside from Nizialek, Atlanta also called in Drew Kaser and Austin Rehko to tryout.
Kaser happens to also be one of Koo’s former teammates when they played for the LA Chargers in 2017. Kaiser spent two full seasons in LA from 2016 to 2017 before being waived in 2018. He then had two short stints with the Green Bay Packers later that year and the Oakland Raiders. In 36 NFL games, Kaser has averaged 47.4 yards per punt.
Rehko went undrafted out of Idaho in 2017. Rehko was in charge of handling both punting and field-goal responsibilities. His senior year, Rehko averaged 41.6 yards per punt with a long of 60. He made 26 of 29 field-goal attempts that same season, with a long of 50.
Since then, he’s spent offseasons with the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants. Like Nizialek, Rehko spent time in the AAF with the Salt Lake Stallions where he averaged 45. 1 yards per punt. Before the XFL canceled its season, Rehko spent this past spring playing for the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks. He averaged 41.5 yards per punt as a Roughnecks.
Falcons Make Surprising Draft Pick
Round 1 was quite a surprise, but more people seemed to be shocked by their final pick, Syracuse punter Sterling Hofricter. The Falcons are into drafting punters, I guess, but there was still a lot of talent they passed on.
On the brighter side, Hofrichter has a booming leg that will help Atlanta win games. He offers a high hang-time kick—one of the best in college football. He also has some neat tackling skills which he’ll probably need to stray away from in order to stay healthy. Again, the Falcons added another versatile guy to the roster—Hofrichter can kick too.
In 49 games, the former Orange averaged 43.2 yards for 270 punts.
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