1709381927 10000 that pays off The Rouge et Or kicker becomes

$10,000 that pays off?: The Rouge et Or kicker becomes known in the NFL world

Kicker Vincent Blanchard from Laval University's Rouge et Or placed a big bet and his bet allowed him to become known in the NFL world.

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After training for two weeks in San Diego and Arizona and spending more than $10,000, Blanchard played on Feb. 17 during Gary Zauner's evaluation camp, which brought together 73 kickers and long-range throw specialists who were eligible for the NFL draft came, made it big.

Zauner is the owner of a specialist school (specialists in precision kickers, punts and long throws) and a leading authority in this field. As a special teams coordinator, he spent 13 years in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens and Arizona Cardinals, concluding his career in 2006 and 11 years in the NCAA. He has assignments all over the Goodell circuit and teams trust him. This was the 15th edition of his camp.

10000 that pays off The Rouge et Or kicker becomes

Richard Boutin

Whether coaching in the NFL or teaching at his school, Zauner has coached 20 kickers to the Pro Bowl.

60 yard precision kick

Blanchard hit a 60-yard field goal to win the showcase over North Carolina State's Brayden Narveson. He made 11 of 13 attempts and missed his last from 63 yards. He also averaged 75.6 yards on his kickoffs.

“I had already made 60-yard field goals in practice, but it was a first in such an important situation,” the RSEQ special teams MVP said last year. At 63 yards I lacked a little power, but the precision was there. A few kicks made the difference in getting me to the final. Scouts are not allowed to be present at this type of event, but Gary sends our films to all NFL teams.

Blanchard was very pleased with his performance and received good news a few days after returning to Quebec. His agent Rob Fry, Gil Scott's right-hand man, whose agency represents several NFL and CFL kickers including David Coté of the Montreal Alouettes, shared with him the rankings Zauner had prepared at the end of camp.

“Gary rated the kickers from A to D and there are only two of us in Group A,” Blanchard said. It's very positive. We’ll see what happens next, but I could host a pro day in Laval or in the United States if the teams show interest.”

Last year, a total of 12 kickers who attended Arizona camp received NFL contracts, according to statistics on Gary Zauner's website.

A unique opportunity

In San Diego, Blanchard attended the CFL kicker evaluation camp on Jan. 25 and also worked with Nick Novak, who played in the NFL from 2005 to 2017 and founded a kicking school after retiring.

When he returned from California, he was struck by a virus and lost 10 pounds. Blanchard was hesitant to travel to Arizona due to his health. “I almost didn’t go, but my agent told me to go,” he said. It was my only chance to be seen by NFL teams. Because I was sick, I only trained two days before camp. I knew I wasn't ready, but I always had confidence in my abilities.

It was this trust that convinced him to pay such a large sum of money to gain much-needed exposure. “It was extremely expensive, but it was the only opportunity to show myself to NFL teams and get noticed. The NFL has always been on my radar. I always had big ambitions and didn’t want to have any regrets.”

Important changes

In his desire to make the jump to the professional ranks, Blanchard focused solely on spotting and kicking. He dropped punts in January.

“My chances of playing at the next level lie in precise kicks,” he explained. Even in the CFL, no one does both. Boris [Bede] is excellent at punts, but only does spot kicks. I've been doing both since I started, but because of my background as a soccer player it's more natural for me to do kicks and kicks.

Blanchard also eliminated the tackle used by kickers in Canadian football. “It's different with the support foot, but my technique was unlocked in two training sessions under the watchful eye of Gary. I continue to train without a plate.”