CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Duke’s Mayo Bowl didn’t go as planned for NC State, but it was the perfect finish for the best kicker in program history. Not only did Christopher Dunn further shatter his own single-season and career record, he also surpassed the NCAA record with his 97th field goal of his illustrious career.
After going a perfect 4-for-4 on field goals against Maryland on Friday, Dunn went from an ACC record 93 field goals to breaking the NCAA mark of 96 set by Zane Gonzalez. The Wolfpack kicker reached the mark with a nearly perfect 2022 campaign, going 28-of-29 overall en route to winning the Lou Groza Award.
Of course, there will be some who question the record simply due to the fact that Dunn returned for a fifth year that was awarded due to the COVID year in 2020. Gonzalez, who is currently the kicker for the Carolina Panthers, only played four seasons and made 22 or more in every season during his time with Arizona State.
While Dunn did play one additional season at the college level, he reached the mark of 97 field goals in less attempts than Gonzalez. The former ASU kicker had 116 attempts in his career while it took Dunn just 115 to surpass his previous mark of 96 successful field goals. Dunn also finishes at No. 25 overall in the NCAA record books with an 85.3 career field goal percentage.
It’s yet another benchmark in a historic tenure at NC State for Dunn, who came to Raleigh at a time where the Wolfpack had consistently struggled in the kicking game under Dave Doeren. It’s also a perfect example of resilience from the program as Dunn had made just 25-of-36 attempts over the previous two seasons due to injuries and returned to put together the best season ever for an NC State kicker.
The next step for Dunn in his career will be entering the 2023 NFL Draft, and he’s in a significantly better place now than he would have been after four seasons with the Pack. Look for Dunn to have a long career at the next level as he joins the huge group of Pack Pros already in the NFL.
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