Offers seem to go out earlier and earlier every recruiting cycle, but it’s still very early for a kicker to have an offer at this point in the calendar, so it’s impressive to see Tennessee kicker Gary Wunderlich with a pair of offers already.
“Virginia offered first in February and then Texas A&M offered (last) Saturday,” the 6-foot, 180-pounder from Memphis University School said.
“I was really surprised. It was flattering that they would offer so early and take a chance because usually kickers don’t get offered this early.”
He’s hearing from other schools as well.
“I’m still talking to Ole Miss, Notre Dame,” Wunderlich said. “I’ve been talking to Ohio State some and that’s really it right now.”
Wunderlich has had some contact with Irish special teams coordinator Scott Booker.
“He was saying they usually don’t offer kickers this early and they want me to come up to their kicking camp in June,” said Wunderlich.
The Tennessee kicker isn’t sure if he’ll make it to South Bend for a visit this summer yet.
“Maybe,” he said. “I haven’t decided if I’m going to commit soon or wait it out.”
He visited Virginia this past weekend and is scheduled to check out Texas A&M on April 5th. If he hasn’t committed shortly after that trip to College Station, he’ll likely take more and there’s a good chance he could get to Notre Dame for that summer camp. He’d like to learn more about the Irish.
“I don’t really know that much,” he said. “I know they’re strong academically and football-wise, they’re really good, they played in the BCS National Championship Game, but I don’t really know that much.”
Wunderlich believes his versatility as a specialist is one of his greatest strengths.
“I think being able to kick and punt has really helped me,” he said. “I’m ranked really high in both, so I can do both. At Virginia, they want me to come in and kick, but if something happens to the punter, I can step in and punt too. I think being able to scholarship a combo guy really helps the school.”
Kicking guru Jamie Kohl has Wunderlich ranked as his top kicker and punter in the Class of 2014.
“I can kick it pretty far,” he said. “At these camps, usually I win the kickoff competitions and things like that. I’m pretty accurate too, but power is the main thing.”
As a junior, he averaged 41.4 yards punts and had about 60 touchbacks. He made eight of 16 field goal attempts with a long of 48, but has connected from as far as 55 yards in practice.
“I’m looking for good football and good academics and just being able to fit in and be comfortable with the coaches and people there.”