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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Dean Krcic, P/K, Kutztown

Dean Krcic the big-legged punter/kicker from Kutztown recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
  • Name: Dean Krcic
  • Position: Punter/Kicker
  • College: Kutztown
  • Height: 6’2
  • Weight: 220
  • Twitter: @krcic_dean
  • Instagram: @krcicdean

What makes you a top prospect at your position in the 2022 NFL Draft?

I believe that I am a top prospect at my position due to how much I invest in this game. I invest in myself to set me apart from others in my position. I choose to put my hard-earned money into paying for a personal trainer at a private gym, 1-on-1 personal training sessions with kicking and punting coaches, and a monthly cryotherapy membership for recovery. These all come with a price, but for me, it is worth every penny. Other guys may rather spend their hard-earned money on material things unrelated to football. I use all of the money I earn towards my football career.

At what age were you first interested in the sport of football?

I didn’t start playing football until I was 15 years old during my Freshman year of high school. I have a deep soccer background which is what helped develop my strength in kicking and punting. 

What is one thing that NFL teams should know about you?

I think NFL teams should know that I carry a very different attitude than others at my position. There is a stigma that kickers and punters are fragile and can’t take criticism or coaching, but I do not fit that description at all. I am a perfectionist and my biggest critic. I feel that when I am not performing to my greatest ability, I prefer to get coached and put in line. I am an active listener when a coach is speaking to me which is what makes me a coachable player. 

If you could donate to one cause in the world, what would it be? 

I would donate to Breast Cancer Awareness. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019 and it holds a heavy place in my heart. I would love more than anything to be able to help find a cure for this horrible disease. 

What is the best advice you have ever received?

The best advice I have ever received is “the best ability is availability”. You can have the most athletic ability on this planet, but if you are not available for your team then you are useless. I am always making sure to take care of my body and never put myself in a situation that could lead to trouble.

Who was your childhood hero? 

Growing up my childhood hero was definitely my older brother Malik. I always wanted to be doing whatever he was doing. He was an amazing soccer player and I always strived to be better than him. In his senior year of high school he decided to be the kicker for the football team, and also play soccer. So once I got to high school I wanted to do the same thing. I can honestly say that if he never decided to play football in high school, then I would not of had interest in playing.

Who is the most underrated teammate in your locker room at your school?

Our starting Safety Nick Palmer is definitely the most underrated teammate in the locker room and also in the entire conference. His size is what makes people underestimate him, but his football IQ and love for the game is unmatched. He can cover any WR or TE no matter their size or speed. He is a ball hawk and is not afraid to come down hill and make tackles in the backfield.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve is definitely a teammate who is not completely bought into the program. There are over 90 players on the roster and only about 1/3 of us get to play on Saturday’s. This hurts a lot of guys egos and causes them to not want to play anymore or be a selfish teammate. They can’t understand that their plays on Scout Team matter just as much as the plays on game day. Without them, our starters would not be prepared for the looks and schemes they will see in games. I just wish they could realize that and work harder to try to earn a starting spot instead of complaining.

Overcoming adversity is what defines character, what was the hardest moment in your life to overcome? 

The hardest moment in my life was getting the news that my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. It weighed heavy on me and I had to deal with all of this while being away at school. I needed to remain focused on school and football while worrying about my mother and her health. Seeing how strong she was in dealing with this situation helped me use this as motivation to make her proud. Because I know that is exactly what she would want me to do.

Tell me something about your school and why it is so special to you?

Kutztown University is a small D2 program that is severely less-funded than other schools we play. We don’t have anything flashy here. Our locker room is old and hasn’t been upgraded in over 20 years. Our weight room is in the basement of one of the oldest buildings on campus. We don’t have the same funding as other schools so we have very minimal scholarship money to hand out. Nobody is on full scholarship. Meanwhile we play schools that have multiple kids on a full ride. Even with all of these things that we lack we’ve still managed to beat the best teams in the conference and win the entire PSAC. It is only 2nd time in school history that we’ve won the conference. We don’t need all of that extra stuff. We put our heads down and work.

What is your favorite snack food?

Apples and peanut butter is definitely my top snack food. I remember eating this as a kid all of the time in Elementary School and I still love it. It is an undefeated combo.

What is the best part of football?

Without a doubt, winning. Nothing feels better than walking off the field after a win. I didn’t play for a great high school football program so I am very familiar with the feeling of losing in big games and getting blown out. Since I got to Kutztown we’ve been able to win more and more games each year. We started a tradition of winning here and it is only going to get better here.

If you could sell yourself in one sentence what would you say?

All of the work I put into this game is to be able to help my team win games and not for my personal stats or accomplishments.

If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be?

I would compare myself to Johnny Hekker from the LA Rams. We are both tall guys with a big frame and a huge leg who can Punt, handle kickoffs and hold FGs.  

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Conor McGregor, Cristiano Ronaldo and Pat McAfee. 

Conor McGregor has been a huge idol of mine for many years. Watching him go from being a plumber to one of the most successful athletes in the world gave me the motivation to realize that anything is possible. Cristiano Ronaldo was my idol growing up as a soccer player. He has been one of the best soccer players in the world for many years and I would love to be able to talk to him about being able to remain at the top for so long. Lastly, I would love to get a chance to sit down and pick apart Pat McAfee’s brain. He was an amazing Punter and carries such an amazing attitude towards the kicking game. I believe all 3 of them would be able to give me life long lessons that I could take away with me.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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