“Hunter the Punter” using all methods to rise from the small school in UNK

Kearney – Hunter Krause picked up his nickname while in high school.

He was a better fit for him at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

“I majored in it here, and it was very nice to be able to hear it. I liked it a lot too.”

Hunter the Punter came to Lopers from Taylor, where he played for Twin Loup High School, and is one of several eight players to go to college.

He averaged 40.2 yards per kick for the Loeb twin, but he only ran 18 times. At UNK, he was a little busy. He made 55 jumps last year, averaging 40 yards per kick, and was selected to the All-MIAA Second Team. His longest kick was 69 yards and connected to four others longer than 50 yards.

“I am very lucky in the position that I play. It makes no difference (between eight players and 11 players). … I just want to do the exact same movement to kick the ball, the exact same movement,” he said.

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This does not mean that Krause’s movement has not changed. The technically superior punters in high school football are few and far between.

“In eight players, the player with the biggest leg on the team is usually the one with the ball. I was lucky enough to be me,” Krause said.

He held the role of kicker and contractor for Twin Loup for three and a half years. He played linebacker too, and when he came to UNK, he saw himself in that role as well.

It didn’t take long for him to reset his goals.

“When I got here, I definitely realized that I am not the biggest fish in the sea anymore. Then I really realized that running is the aspect I can excel in here. Since I came to this realization, I loved it and put all my effort into it,” he said.

Lauber’s soccer coach Josh Lane said that Krause was one of the biggest surprises of his tenure at Lauper.

“You have to be a great tech. He takes pride in all that stuff. He did a great job,” Lynn said. “He put in the work. He did things on his own. He went to the camps alone. He’s gotten with Kyle Larson and Kyle has been great for us and him.”

Larson, a former Kearney High/Nebraska/Cincinnatti Bengals gambler, was a major influence on Krause.

“Running can be a science, and just dropping a ball a centimeter to the left or a centimeter to the right can be the difference between a 50-yard ball and a 30-yard leg,” Krause said. “He is great at just watching me. …One of the best things he has done, it may not seem like much, but I just needed to raise my level with football. This is just one of the things he helped me with.”

Krause said Larson sees a lot of small details like that.

“Every time we get to the end of a planning session with him, the situation is always very fragile. He knows what to look for, he knows how I can respond to every little piece of information he gives me, and he knows what to do,” Krause said.

hunter crouse

Larson isn’t the only person Krause has worked with. When he first arrived at UNK, Kendall took Rascheid Krause under his wing.

“He helped me advance in the art of riding and really helped me understand that the college level is definitely different from the high school level. He helped me advance and just take small steps because kicks are a marathon, and it takes a long time for me to master it,” Krause said.

After graduating from high school, Krause basically knew he needed to kick the ball hard. You soon learn that there is much more to it. He says punters are closer to golfers, as they use different batons or different swings to achieve the desired result.

To acquire these skills, Krause everywhere went to camps, spending hours and hours in the field of training.

“If I can get someone else to shoot the ball, I just work on technique, exercises and other aspects,” he said.

He also hones his skills with other tools, such as tennis balls. Every day, he bounces tennis balls off the wall to work on his hand-eye coordination, and works to bring down tennis balls to help develop a more consistent and accurate landing.

It also works on its flexibility, constantly stretching.

“And the funny thing is just seeing all the other guys in the weight room see me when they stretch out and watch their mouths drop and be like, ‘Dang,'” he said.

Yes, he can easily do the work of splits.

“But that’s definitely a side of it,” Krause said, “and I’ve worked really hard to get my flexibility as it is now.”

Krause added another mission this fall, holding field goals and bonus points. He’s been working on that duty at spring camp for the past two years, but this will be the first regular season where he’ll put the ball in for the kick.

It’s something he’s been working on, but his main role remains kicking.

“There is a lot to learn. I am not close to where I want to be. I am unsatisfied but I am constantly working to advance in this sport.”

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