Oconomowoc native Casey Bednarski grew up on the pitch, then fate and a high school football coach intervened.
“He saw me in gym class one day just punt a football up because a ball was stuck in a net," said Bednarski. "He said, 'Wow, you might have potential.' He kinda sweet talked me into it. I ended up making that transition from soccer, my first love, to football."
“I’m 100 percent self-taught in this sense of, I would look up YouTube videos of professional kickers and just watch them,” he said.
With natural power, success at kicking came easy for Bednarski, but opportunities did not. After a gap year, the College of DuPage took a chance on him. Two years later, Minnesota State did the same.
Now at 23 years old, Bednarski is preparing for his shot to make an NFL roster.
“To be honest, this is a joke I’ve had with my friends for so long," he said. "As soon as I started playing football after my first year, we knew. I have an NFL leg. I just have to put the work in."
Wearing a bracelet with the words “be mentally strong,” Bednarski will head into Wednesday’s pro day at Minnesota with a coldblooded mentality.
“I just want to compete and show why I am your guy. That’s just the competitive nature of the game. I’m not going to give you anything. You are going to have to earn it to beat me,” said Bednarski.
Knowing obstacles are sure to be in his way, should Bednarski's first attempt at reaching the NFL not work out, this Wisconsinite is prepared to put into practice the old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again.”
“I would keep going. I think I would give it at least three or four years," said Bednarski. "Then after that, I would move on. I just want to be able to give everything I have to the point where if I don’t make it then I’m happy with what I’ve done."