The Miami football program offered a scholarship to A.J. Vinatieri, the son of NFL legend Adam, a scholarship for 2022 according to a tweet posted by the offspring on Monday. A.J. is listed as a kicker on his 247 Sports profile, but has also punted in for Zionsville High School outside of Indianapolis.
If Vinatieri is going to play for the Miami football program he would almost definitely project as a punter. Miami signed Andres Borregales in the Class of 2021, the third-ranked kicker in the country. Vinatieri averaged 38.4 yards per punt and had 11 inside the 20 in 2020 with a long of 58 yards.
As a kicker, Vinatieri made six of nine field-goal attempts with a long of 38 yards and 14 of 16 points after touchdowns. Miami is expected to lose punter Lou Hedley after the 2021 season. Hedley replaced Zach Feagles, the son of Miami Sports Hall of Famer Jeff as the Hurricanes Punter.
Hedley was a second-team All-American in 2020. Led by Hedley, Miami set the NCAA record with a 44.96 net punting average in 2020. Replacing Hedley will be critical for the Miami coaching staff. Vinatieri spoke with Miami special teams coordinator Jonathan Patke. Patke has done a good job upgrading the Miami kicking game.
In addition to the inconsistencies of the younger Feagles as the Miami punter, former Miami kicker Bubba Baxa made only 14 of his 22 field goal attempts with Miami in 2018 and 2019. Baxa was replacing by Borregales’ brother Jose in 2020. Jose Borregales made all 37 PATs and 20 of 22 field goal attempts in 2020.
The outstanding performance from Jose Borregales earned him first-team All-American following the 2021 season and the Groza Award as the best kicker in college football. Miami has turned around a kicking game that was a destriment before Hedley and Borregales arrived into a pair of All-Americans in 2020.
Vinatieri would almost literally have big shoes to fill if he became the Miami punter replacing Hedley. Add that to a being the son of a future Pro Football Hall of Fame kicker. Adam Vinitieri is the all-time leading scorer in NFL history. Being a punter would allow A.J. to play a position and not always be compared to his father.