Cougar kicker Andrew Furney will get his NFL shot in Seattle. Furney, like most kickers, wasn't drafted, but did draw interest as an undrafted free agent and will attend Seahawks mini camp. Furney broke the news on Twitter.
Furney drew attention early in his Cougar career for his rather large for a kicker physique, then we all learned he could kick. He connected on 14-of-16 attempts as a sophomore and went on to make 47 field goals during his WSU career. Jason Hanson is, and will likely always be, the top standard of WSU kickers, but Furney positioned himself as the second-best kicker to ever come through WSU.
Making it as a kicker in the NFL can be extremely difficult. There are only 32 spots and many of those don't open very often. Furney has plenty of leg to make it in the NFL and he finished his WSU career 4-of-7 from 50 yards or more, including the 60-yarder against Eastern Washington. Although there are no stats for clutch kicking, I would expect Furney to rank very well. He made clutch kick, after clutch kick with the kick against USC and the field goal to send the 2012 Apple Cup to overtime immediately coming to mind. College kickers are notoriously unreliable and Furney was the exact opposite.
If he impresses enough during mini camp, he could land a deal and the opportunity to go to training camp. His ability to handle kickoffs will be a significant factor in his NFL prospects. He struggled some on kickoff early in his WSU career before giving up the duties to Mike Bowlin his final two seasons. Furney did handle spot kickoff duty last year and did a good job, getting more depth on his kicks and recording a couple touchbacks.
The Seahawks inked Steven Hauschka to an extension this offseason, so making the roster might be a challenge. If he kicks well enough, however, getting to training camp and kicking in the preseason would allow him to audition for the other 31 teams.
Best of luck, Andrew. Thanks again for the 2012 Apple Cup.