Kicking a football has been Anthony Cantelle's job for the past four years, first a soccer ball and now a football.
The aim is to make it his profession for the next ten years or so in the NFL. Cantelle is one of seven kickers in the draft pool for Thursday's NFL Draft.
"I never thought I'd be in this situation, so I'm kind of soaking it all in," Cantele said at Kapaun Mt. Carmel high school where he played prep football. "It's unreal when coaches from NFL teams are calling you and asking you to work and asking you to send film."
Cantele was nothing but solid in a Wildcat uniform, never missing a point after attempt in his senior year (64-64) and booted 19 of his 23 field goal attempts, a Big 12 best 82 percent. He was one of only five kickers in the country invited to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. And yet...
"Of the five kickers there, I was one of two that were considered unproven," Cantele said. "And this is my chance to prove it. I know I can do it, I've done it plenty of times in practice I just haven't got those chances in games and that's what the scouts really questioned about me and I think I proved that I actually can."
The kicking practice routine that he goes through looks very tame and coordinated. He kicks from various distances and works on long field goals from 40 yards or longer, from every hash mark. But actually Cantele is working on perfection with every swing of his leg. According to him, the kicking position is the most competitive on every team in the NFL.
"Kickers are kind of on a short leash; you could miss one or two kicks and they might cut you mid-season," he said. "So that's frustrating about the (draft) process, knowing that, 'yeah I'll get an opportunity but it's so competitive...'"
Unlike his former teammates Wichitan's Arthur Brown and Chris Harper, Cantele was barely measured at the combine and his measurable statistics have been all about kicking. He said the scouts onyl checked to see if they were athletic enough to chase down an ocassional kick returner. Accuracy and distance is all that the NFL cares about when it comes to kickers.
"They look at the rotation on your ball, they look at hang times, obviously," he said. "Are you good at directional kicks, kick offs, onside kicks; how consistent you are with those. There are just so many factors that go into it."
"The biggest thing I've learned is you have to take advantage of your opportunities and make the most of it."