Place kicker Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos celebrates his 59 yard field goal to tie the score 10-10 with the Chicago Bears with three seconds remaining in the game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 11, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Prater kicked the game winning 51 yard field goal in overtime as the Broncos defeated the Chicago Bears. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The Denver Broncos had a new face in uniform at Dove Valley yesterday at the beginning of their veteran Mini Camp. Kicker Matt Prater was not in attendance because he hasn’t signed his Franchise tender. Wearing No.1 in practice was a Kicker by the name of Adi Kunalic, who is in town for a tryout. I had never heard of this guy, so I thought I would investigate. Here is what I found.
Adi Kunalic (pronounced Ah-dee Kuh-NALEK), is a kicking specialist who played in 53 games for Nebraska from 2007-10. I say kickoff specialist because in his four seasons as a Cornhusker, Adi generated 125 career touchbacks, including 39 as a senior to rank 3rd in the country after producing 29 as a junior. In fact, he only had one career Field Goal attempt in college, a 46-yard conversion.
Kunalic is a 6-0, 185 kicker of Bosnian descent, who arrived in the United States in 2000. He was ranked among the top 20 kickers in the country according to Rivals.com comong out of high school. Adi chose Nebraska after receiving offers from Washington State, Miami, Kansas and Utah among others.
He made 1st-Team Academic All-Big 12 honors in 3 out of his 4 years off the field at Nebraska, but on the field Kunalic’s stat sheet looked like this:
- Kickoffs - 306 (66 in 2007; 81 in 2008; 73 in 2009; 86 in 2010)
- Touchbacks -125 (28 in 2007, 29 in 2008, 29 in 2009, 39 in 2010)
- Field Goals -1-1, (a 46-yarder vs. Nevada in 2007)
After graduation, Kunalic went Undrafted in 2011. He signed with the Carolina Panthers in time for Training Camp that season. He should them a strong leg, but it wasn’t enough to depose Olindo Mare and Adi was cut prior to the season.
The Panthers brought him back in December, signing him to a 3-year deal after Mare had struggled for two games (which Carolina lost). Olindo had been signed to a 4-year, $12 Million deal during the offseason to replace John Kasay and things weren’t working out (19/25 on FGs, 76%). Kunalic didn’t make any game appearances for the Panthers and was released March 7th, 2012.
So now he’s in Dove Valley for a tryout. As a former Panther, the only familiar face would be Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio, so with incumbent Kicker Matt Prater merely waiting for an extension to get hammered out, Kunalic can only be here as a potential injury replacement down the road. Still, it was good to find out about him. Good Luck Adi.
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