Wednesday, November 17, 2010

T. J. Grzesikowski
Consistency is key to success

In any endeavor, one must have consistent effort to have success. In the case of the 2010 Ferrum football team, no player exemplifies this better than Senior T. J. Grzesikowski. In his four seasons at Ferrum, T.J. has been one of the most consistent in the nation at punting. Going back to his freshman year in 2007, T.J. has put up impressive numbers. While I cannot find national rankings for that year, T.J. punted 45 times for 1774 yards. This left him with an average of 39.4 yards per punt. While this is still a good number, T.J.'s future would see much improvement. That average of 39.4 in 2010 would be good enough for a ranking of about 24th nationally.
In his second year, T.J. had his best statistical year, as he won the NCAA statistical championship for punting finishing #1 in D3 football. That year, T.J. punted 47 times for 2059 yards and an average of 43.8 yards per punt.
T.J.'s Junior year would see him fall statistically, but still have very impressive and consistent numbers. In a year that had his best ranking tied for third in the nation, T.J.'s numbers slipped, and going into the last game of the season, T.J. was ranked 39th in the nation. There was no way to win a second championship, but it would be important to finish strong. In his last game that year, T. J. punted 5 times for a total of 263 yards and an average of 52.6 yards per punt. In that game, T.J. sent what would be his longest punt of his career 66 yards, and had 3 punts of more than 50 yards.
That day, T.J. moved up 27 spots in the national ranking to finish the season 12th. The season ended with T.J. having punted 42 times for 1673 yards averaging 39.8 yards per punt.

This season, battling an injury, T.J. again put up impressive numbers. It would not be until after the third game that T.J. would be ranked nationally. (This was due to a requirement that anyone ranked has to average 3.6 punts per game, and T.J. had not reached that average). After the third game, T.J. was ranked 5th nationally.
T.J. would again slip and see his ranking fall to 18th after the fourth game against North Carolina Wesleyan. This would be his lowest ranking of the year, and from that point on, T. J. climbed in the rankings. Going into the CNU game, T.J. was ranked 8th in the nation. after a good showing at CNU, he climbed to 6th. The next week against Averett, T.J. had another solid day. The low point was a 29 yard punt at the beginning of the 4th quarter.  This may have cost him, as at the end of the day, he had slipped back to 8th nationally. so while it looked improbable to win the national championship, T.J. would have to go out on Senior Day and really put up big numbers if he was going to have a chance. Again, T.J. would not disappoint. While he did not win the national statistical championship, that last game saw T.J. send out 6 punts for 240 yards, with one being over 50. This was enough for T.J. to finish in 4th in the nation, and first in the conference.
While T.J. has ended his career at Ferrum, I believe that he will have a future at the next level. Will that be the NFL...I would think that is a real possibility, but who knows it may be Canada, or Arena football....no I doubt Arena football- the field is not long enough for T.J.

(Photo by Tammi Armstrong)

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