the study of the kicking components within sports

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Draft Preview: Dan Conroy

Among the kickers eligible for this year's NFL draft, or signing as an undrafted free agent thereafter, is Michigan State's Dan Conroy. He ranks in the top ten in the majority of the various draft rankings.

Excerpts from Conroy's profile page on the Spartans' website:

2012 Senior Season
  • Made the game-winning kick in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl as his 47-yard field goal with just 1:01 remaining in the game put MSU ahead for good over TCU, 17-16
  • Set an MSU single-season record with 23 field goals
  • recipient of the team's Downtown Coaches Club Award for the most outstanding senior on special teams
2011 Junior Season
  • made two field goals, both in overtime, in the triple OT win over No. 18 Georgia in the Outback Bowl . . . connected on a 35-yard attempt in the second overtime to push the game into a third extra session, and made the eventual game-winning field goal, a 28-yarder, in the third overtime as MSU defeated the Bulldogs, 33-30
  • Honorable mention All-Big Ten selection by the media
2010 Sophomore Season
  • his 14 consecutive field goals made to open his career marked the best start for a placekicker in MSU history
  • Named one of 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award
  • earned first-team All-Big Ten honors from the coaches and media in his first year as the starting placekicker
  • also named first-team All-Big Ten by and
  • presented the Tommy Love Award as the team's most improved player (shared honor with center John Stipek) . . . 
  • led the Big Ten and ranked fifth in the NCAA FBS in field-goal accuracy (.933)
2009 Freshman Season
  • Saw action in four games in 2009 (vs. Montana State, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Penn State)
High School
  • Second-team all-state selection as a senior by the Chicago Tribune
  • played for Coach Ron Muhitch at Wheaton (Ill.) Warrenville South High School, helping the Tigers to a combined record of 27-1 over his final two seasons
  • named the Tigers' Special Teams Player of the Year after accounting for 68 points as a senior, hitting 40-of-45 extra-point and 9-of-12 field goal attempts
  • 90 percent of his kickoffs went into or beyond the end zone as a senior
  • averaged 40.3 yards on 35 punts in 2007, including a career-long 53-yarder

2012: 23 of 32 (71.9%) FGs; 25 of 25 PATs; 94 points
2011: 17 of 23 (73.9%) FGs; 48 of 48 PATs; 99 points
2010: 14 of 15 (93.3%) FGs; 45 of 46 PATs; 87 points
2009: 1 of 1 (100%) FGs; 0 of 0 PATs; 3 points

Last November, Dan discussed his college career:
"I had an opportunity to go to Western Michigan on a scholarship offer, but my heart was always with Michigan State. My dad graduated from here in 1977, so I've been bleeding green and white my whole life. I had my heart set on Michigan State the entire time. Whether I had the opportunity to play football or not, I was going to come to MSU....

It's pretty cool just to see where I've come from. Coming in as a walk-on and having to prove myself when I got here, and then having another scholarship kicker come and having to prove myself again just really helped me build the character I have. The people I've been able to meet have helped me moved forward time after time. That's really been the most touching part of all of this to me, to have made the lifetime relationships with the guys here....

We have a quote up in the specialists room that talks about the fact that it's not how great you are, but how great you are with the talent that you have. I think everybody has different talents. It's not what you have and how you can coast by with that, but how you develop those talents and those skills and apply it to be the best athlete or person you can be."

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