Hadenfeldt, Dan : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Hadenfeldt, Dan

A walk-on at Nebraska, Hadenfeldt finished his career as a two-time All-Big 12 punter. Interestingly enough, Dan had little interest in punting when he arrived at Nebraska. He said, "When I started I was kicking in practice only, and I wasn't really involved in team kicking during practice. When you're not involved in team kicking, you come out early, take your kicks, maybe take a few punts and then you're done for the day before the rest of the guys even start practicing. Basically, I kept working on my punting to give me more work in practice. As I got more punts during practice, I decided it was something I wanted to learn how to do and do well."

Birth and Death Dates:
b. August 7, 1976

Career Highlights:
After walking on in 1995, Dan redshirted that season. Over the next three years, he backed up the starting punter and kicker and played sparingly. During that time, he appeared in seven games, made three of four extra points, and kicked off in four games late in 1998.

In 1999, Dan became the Huskers' starting punter and had a fabulous season; he also handled the kickoff duties. He played in all twelve games and had 63 punts for 2,924 yards; his amazing 44.98 punt average broke the school record.

Hadenfeldt was named second team All-Big 12 and won Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors against Colorado. In that game, he had seven punts for a career-high 403 yards and broke the school record with an incredible 57.6 average. That year, he also had a punt of 73 yards against California. The Huskers finished the regular season with a record of 11-1-0 and faced No. 8 Tennessee in the Fiesta Bowl. Dan had 6 punts for 237 yards (39.5 average) in Nebraska's 31-21 victory; the team finished the season ranked No. 2 in the ESPN/USA Today poll and No. 3 in the AP poll.

After the 1999 season, Dan (as a senior) participated in the Hula Bowl but was then awarded a sixth year by the NCAA because he had been injured in 1996 and was a awarded a medical hardship. So, Dan was allowed to return to the team in 2000 with raised expectations. Nebraska kicking coach Dan Young said during the 1999 season, "We are pleased with Dan Hadenfeldt's progress this year in the punting game...he has good hang time, a very strong leg and has a chance to put people in the hole."

Hadenfeldt lived up to his hype and had another terrific year for the Huskers. He was named All-Big 12 first team and Nebraska finished the season with a record of 9-2-0. They went to the Alamo Bowl and they defeated Northwestern, 66-17, to end the year ranked No. 7 by ESPN/USA Today and No. 8 by AP. Dan finished the season with 59 punts for 2,310 yards (a 40.0 average) and again played in the Hula Bowl. He also played for team USA in the All-Star Gridiron Classic.

Although draft expert Mel Kiper considered Hadenfeldt one of the top punters coming out of college in 2001, Dan went undrafted. He attended pre-camp with the New England Patriots, but was waived in training camp.

Des Moines, Iowa

Career Dates:
Hadenfeldt was a punter at Nebraska from 1996-2000.

Physical description:
5'11", 195 pounds

Career Statistics:
At Nebraska:
Punts: 122
Punt yards: 5,234
Punt average: 42.9
Punts inside 20: 38

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Jewish Sports Review, September/October 2000 issue (Vol. 2, No. 8, Issue 21)