Colten Rastetter Welcomes Competition

April 14, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Colten Rastetter wants to be better. He knows he needs to be better. He’s working on it.

Iowa’s starting punter the last two seasons has delivered at times. His career thus far has been defined by inconsistency, however.

His 38.9 yard average per attempt from a year ago ranked 94th among 100 FBS punters listed in the official NCAA stats. His 37.8 average in ’17 kept him out of the Top 100.

“My biggest focus was just the mental consistency, being prepared each and every day,” Rastetter said of his approach this offseason. “Coach (Kirk) Ferentz harps on if our team is going to be successful, the older players have to be at their best. I kind of took that on myself. There’s a lot more out there I can reach for and improve on.”

Former Iowa punter David Bradley dealt with ups and downs during his first two seasons as a starter, averaging under 40 yards in each of those campaigns. During his last two years, he was over 40.

Rastetter, a fifth-year senior, is being pushed by redshirt sophomore Ryan Gersonde this spring. Michael Sleep-Dalton, a graduate transfer from Arizona State, arrives for the competition this summer.

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Sleep-Dalton’s 43.8 average last season ranked 23rd nationally. Gersonde averaged 42.5 yards as a true freshman in ’17 before injury cut short his year.

It doesn’t make sense to bring in a graduate transfer and sit him. That said, he’s going to have to win the job. And Rastetter understands that.

“Honestly, whoever performs the best is going to play. That’s what me and Ryan talked about. Whoever wins the job, wins the job, and we’re there for support. I’m just here to have the team win,” he said.

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Rastetter views the three-man race as a way for everybody to improve.

“Healthy competition helps a team be successful. In the end, that’s my main goal, to help the team win. Whatever I’ve got to do, I’m ready to do it,” he said.

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Rastetter also serves as the holder for place kicks. He’s watching the competition there between Keith Duncan and Caleb Shudak. They’re working to replace two-year starter, Miguel Recinos.

“They’ve both been hitting it really well. It’s kind of neck-and-neck right now. I’m excited to see who takes the reins in that one,” Rastetter said.

See what else Rastetter had to say about his spring in this HN TV video:

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