Ben Niesner: 2022 Pro Prospect Interview
Name: Ben Niesner
School: Valparaiso University
What goals did you set and/or accomplish in your final collegiate season?
The goals I set were that I wanted to repeat as a first team all league punter which I accomplished and stay above a 43 yard average which I also ended up doing as well (43.2 avg).
Q: How do you think you took advantage of the extra year of eligibility to increase your chances of going pro?
I would say I took advantage of the extra year by taking the time during covid and training every day. I refined my form which helped me mature and grow as a punter even more. I’ve only been punting since my freshman year of college as I didn’t play in high school so having this extra time to prep was a blessing which ultimately helped bring me my success in the spring and this fall season.
Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?
They would say that I am a true competitor and one of the hardest workers on the field even as a punter. I am one who is always finding ways to better myself and never even think about getting complacent.
Q: When you are studying film, what are the things you focus on to improve your game?
When watching film, I try and look at where my miss hits were in practice and in games. Location is big in punting so I usually try and look at the small details to find why I would have a miss hit. I will usually focus on my drop angle and my swing path.
Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?
I would say one of the things that separates me is my ability to hit about 4-5 different types of punts. I wasn’t just a pro style punter in college as we would rugby and create different punts to throw people off and steal yards. I had to be really consistent with a lot of different types of kicks and not only just spirals.
Q: What is your offseason plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities?
My offseason plan is to go to a few showcase events that I have been invited to and after that just continuing to increase my leg speed and becoming a more consistent punter. That entails kicking 3-4 times a week and strength training for 4-5 days a week. Overall, just making sure I am the most consistent punter I can be.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
I think my biggest strength is my work ethic like I discussed earlier. I will always be the guy to come in early and leave late. Thats just something I was taught at a young age by my parents. I feel like as a punter having a strong work ethic is important to have to gain respect from teammates.
Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL and any other pro leagues?
My final pitch is that whoever watches me, they will see a very unique punter who can boom it when he needs, but also finesse the ball when pinning opponents deep. I balance the two very well and am only going to continue to get stronger and more consistent.