By Tyler Devine
The competition for specialist positions on the Iowa football team has increased significantly in the past week.
Punter Ron Coluzzi announced today on Twitter that he will transfer from Central Michigan to Iowa to compete for the starting job next season as a graduate student.
Iowa also has added kickers Keith Duncan and Caleb Shudak and punter Jackson Terry this past week as preferred walk-ons.
Coluzzi, the only specialist on the roster with significant college experience, saw an opportunity as a Hawkeye.
Iowa has to replace both its starting punter and kicker from last season.
“Opportunity,” Coluzzi said of what led him to Iowa. “I’m the only one on the roster with game experience at the college level and I plan on competing for the job.”
As a junior, Coluzzi punted 59 times for a 39.1 average with a long of 61. He also had 21 touchbacks on 64 kickoff attempts this past season.
Coluzzi said he will compete for both the punting and kickoff jobs. He also might see action as a holder.
“The coaching staff thinks I should stick with kickoffs and punting, but also try to hold next year,” Coluzzi said.
Iowa has built a strong NFL pipeline under coach Kirk Ferentz. There currently are 25 former Iowa players on NFL rosters.
Coluzzi, who will graduate in May with a marketing degree from Central Michigan, said that was a draw for him, as well as the opportunty to continue his education at a Big Ten school.
“Obviously, Iowa sends a lot of players to the NFL,” Coluzzi said. “They also have a great university. So I plan on taking advantage of both opportunities they have to offer.”