Name: Hunter Niswander
School: Northwestern University
Q: What were some of your goals heading into your final collegiate season?
I had 3 goals: increase my distance, increase my hang time, and increase my NET average. All of which I was able to accomplish.
Q: If you could describe your style of play in 3 words, what would they be?
1. Aggressive: I try to put the punt exactly where it needs to be, and I never want to settle for less. 2. Ambitious: I believe that I can become a better punter each day 3. Creative: I have multiple clubs in my bag. I feel confident pulling off different punts for different situations.
Q: How will you train and prepare this offseason for the draft or other pro opportunities?
I have been hitting PRs this whole off season in the weight room and with my punt hang times and distance. I have also been doing a lot of speed work and isolation movements to engage my quick twitch muscles and strengthen my core. I have been grinding every day in order to be ready to make the most of any opportunity that I get!
Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on or look for?
I have been studying a lot of film of Johnny Hekker and Thomas Morstead. These are two guys who have been phenomenal at what they do for many years. I also see them as the most similar punters in the NFL to me as far as my size and technique. I have learned a lot from them as far as shortening my steps, how to get up through the ball better, and how to be an elite directional punter. I believe direction is critical to be an NFL punter, and I think it’s something you can always can get better at. Additionally, I watch film of myself from training sessions to analyze my drop, my steps, and how I am getting through the ball. For example: Am I finishing balanced? Is my drop timing okay? Are my steps taking me towards my target? People may not think there is much that goes into punting, but film can go a long ways in your development as a punter.
Q: What separates you from the other players at your position?
My work ethic, my motivation, and my creativity. I believe that I can do different things with the ball and put the ball into places that a lot of punters aren’t able to do.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
My desire to have a selfless attitude. I want to help an organization in any way that I can, whether that’s on the field or off of it. My ability to perform no matter what the situation or weather is. At Northwestern, we have punted in every kind of game and weather. From hail, to wind, to sleet, to snow, I have seen it all and performed well in it. Also, my mental toughness. I have tested in the 99% of mental toughness and believe this is a critical strength. If I am backed up in the end zone and my team needs a big punt, or we need the ball inside the 10 to back the other team up, or there’s a big time returner and we want him to not return one all day, I believe that I can get the job done.
Q: How would you contribute to an NFL team if given the opportunity?
I believe that I can help a team on the field with my punting and holding abilities. I believe that I can help in the weight room with my work ethic and I believe that I can help with the team and organization with my servant leadership style approach.