Niesner Named to FCS Punter of the Year Preseason Watch List
Monday, August 23, 2021
Niesner Named to FCS Punter of the Year Preseason Watch List

Valparaiso University football punter Ben Niesner (Black Diamond, Wash. / Tahoma [Portland State]) has been named to the Fall 2021 FCS Punter of the Year Preseason Watch List by the Augusta Sports Council.

Niesner is one of 20 punters nationally in Division-I FCS to earn a spot on the preseason watch list. He was also named to the Phil Steele Preseason All-Conference First Team and to the Preseason All-Pioneer Football League squad.

Niesner shared PFL Special Teams Player of the Year accolades during the Spring 2021 season, becoming the first player in program history to receive that honor. In addition, he was tabbed an FCS National Punter of the Year Semifinalist.

Niesner tied Greg Wood’s program record for single-season punting average at 43.6. When taken to the next decimal point, Niesner’s 43.58 is narrowly behind Wood’s 43.64, which is also the Pioneer Football League record. Niesner’s mark is the second-best in PFL history. He ranked eighth nationally in punting average in Division-I FCS in Spring 2021. 

Niesner booted seven punts for 50+ yards during the spring season including a career-long 72 in the season finale vs. San Diego. He pinned the opposition inside the 20 on nine occasions while totaling 1,351 yards over his 31 boots. Niesner earned a pair of PFL Special Teams Player of the Week accolades this past spring.

2021 Preseason Watchlist

Andrew Foster             Morehead State

Aubrey Grace             Alabama State

Austin Dunlap             Southeastern Louisiana

Ben Niesner                Valparaiso

Brady Schutt               South Dakota

Chris Faddoul             Florida A&M

D.J. Arnson                 Northern Arizona

Daniel Whelan            UC Davis

Harry O'Kelly             James Madison

Joe Gurley                  North Alabama

Jon Sot                         Harvard

JT Bohlken                 Illinois State

Kaleb Mosley             Tennessee State

Matthew Campbell     The Citadel

Matt McRobert           Sam Houston

Nathan Fondacaro      Villanova

Noah Gettman             Sacred Heart

Patrick Haughney       Holy Cross

Ryan Richter               Norfolk State

Zach Haynes               Southeast Missouri