Part 1 of 3 in a series honoring Wayne State’s best players from 2000-2009.
Kicker/Place-Kicker: David Chudzinski (2005-2008)
A transfer from the University of Toledo, Chudzinski was named All-GLIAC First Team, Hansen’s All-America First-Team, Daktronics Inc. First-Team and AP Little All-America First-Team in 2006, when he went 14-16 on field goals and a perfect 33-33 on PAT. After a lackluster 2007, Chudzinski rebounded the following year by connecting on 7-11 field goals, including a career-long of 50 yards. He is the record-holder in most career field goals (33), extra points made (107), extra point attempts (115) and consecutive extra points (58).
Punter: Greg Gunderson (2003-2004)
Gunderson came to Wayne State in 2003 after spending two season at Joilet Community College in Joilet, Illinois. Serving as both a kicker and punter, Gunderson punted 76 times in 2004, just one shy of the school record. His career average of 36.32 yards per punt is sixth highest in school history. After his college career, Gunderson was a student assistant coach for two years, working with kickers and punters. He was a place-kicker for the Billings Outlaws of the United Indoor Football League in 2007 before recently signing with the Alabama Vipers of the Arena Football League.
Kick Returner: Stan Thornton (2006-2010)
Thornton was named a GLIAC Honorable Mention in 2007 after setting the then single-season record at Wayne State wtih a 28.1 kickoff return average. Against Findlay, Thornton returned four kickoffs for 157 yards, including a 78-yard return for a touchdown. After playing primarlily at cornerback in 2008, Thornton returned to special teams the following season, where his 26.1 yards per kickoff return was second-highest in the GLIAC. In the 2009 opener against Mercyhurst, Thornton scored on a 92-yard kickoff return to earn him GLIAC Special Teams Player of the Week. Going into his final season, Thornton ranks fourth all-time in kickoff returns (41) and sxith in kickoff return yardage (1,122 yards).
Punt Returner: Jerriel Burrus (2002-2006)
Aside from his role as a returnman, Burrus also saw playing time at wide receiver, cornerback and safety in his tenure at Wayne State. Burrus was voted Special Teams Player of the Year in 2003 and 2004. With a 13.11 average per punt return in 2004, Burrus had the second-highest finish in school history. In his final season, Burrus returned a career-high 24 punts to garner a 10.8 average per return, ranking him fifth highest in the GLIAC. He is currently the school’s all-time leader in punt returns (81) and punt return yards (834).
Check back tomorrow for Part 2, when the WSU All-Decade Defense will be revealed.