Iowa football: 30 greatest players in Hawkeyes history

Ricky Stanzi, Iowa Hawkeyes. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)
Ricky Stanzi, Iowa Hawkeyes. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images) /
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Nate Kaeding, San Diego Chargers
Nate Kaeding, San Diego Chargers. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

Nate Kaeding is the best kicker to ever play for the Iowa football team. He was instrumental in the revival of the Hawkeyes under Kirk Ferentz in the early 2000s.

A native of Iowa City, Kaeding didn’t have to go far to play for Iowa and ended up being Iowa’s full-time kicker all four seasons in college.

He left the Hawks with as the career leader in field goals made, field goals attempted, PATs made, PATs attempted and most importantly, scoring.

In his career, Kaeding hit 79.8 percent of his field goal attempts, but it wasn’t until his junior season when he kicked it into high gear. During the Iowa football team’s 2002 Orange Bowl run, he hit 87.5 of his field goal attempts to score an Iowa single-season record of 120 points.

The following year, he missed just one field goal and turned in a 95.2 field goal percentage, which led to him being named First-Team All-Big Ten (for the second time), Consensus All-American and the Lou Groza Award Winner.

After finishing his career with Iowa, Kaeding spent nine seasons in the NFL, mostly with the then-San Diego Chargers, where he had moderate success making the All-Pro Team twice.

He is now retired, but he recently returned to the world of kicking to assist the Minnesota Vikings.