Redskins once drafted a punter who dodged bullets as a repo man

(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)
Durant Brooks was never a repo man. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

The Redskins used a seventh-round draft pick on Arkansas place kicker Zach Hocker, who, in battling Kai Forbath, will attempt to become just the third player among the 10 kickers and punters Washington has drafted since the 1970 merger to make the team.

While most of the guys who came before Hocker had your run-of-the-mill resume for a draft-worthy college football specialist — made some long field goals, had a bunch of touchbacks, led the nation in punting average — one of them was shot at “15 to 20 times” while working as a repo man in college. Can you guess which one?

1973: Mike Wedman | K | Colorado | Rd. 16, Pick 415
Didn’t play a game in the NFL.

1974: Mike Flater | K | Colorado School of Mines | Rd. 9, Pick 228
Didn’t play a game in the NFL.

1982: Dan Miller | K | Miami (Fla.) | Rd. 11, Pick 281
Played five games for Baltimore and New England.

1988: Chip Lohmiller | K | Minnesota | Rd. 2, Pick 55
Made 58 of 81 175 of 245 field goals during his seven seasons in Washington. The only player on this list with his own Starting Lineup figure.

1988: Wayne Ross | P | San Diego St. | Rd. 12, Pick 315
Didn’t play a game in the NFL.

1991: Chris Shale | K | Bowling Green | Rd. 10, Pick 270
Didn’t play a game in the NFL.

1993: Ed Bunn | P | UTEP | Rd. 3, Pick 80
Didn’t play a game in the NFL.

1999: Jeff Hall | K | Tennessee | Rd. 6, Pick 181
Played three games with St. Louis after the Redskins released him.

2008: Durant Brooks | P | Georgia Tech | Rd. 6, Pick 168
Averaged fewer than 39.6 yards per punt and was released after six games.

It was Bunn, according to a story by Washington Post Staff Writer Ken Denlinger that ran after the draft:

He is a native Washingtonian who helped finance his college education in a risky business, repossessing cars, while earning his degree in a serene major, English literature.

Bunn started punting as a way to rehabilitate a severe knee injury suffered 10 years ago in a motorcycle accident not far from where new Redskins Park stands. A graduate of T.C. Williams High, he left the area for California at age 19 and attended UCLA briefly. He did not get excited about college, however, for another two years. At a junior college in Los Angeles, Bunn started the lucrative and dangerous repo adventure he continued at UTEP. He was shot at “15 to 20 times” over about a four-year period. He was slugged often and stabbed a time or two.

“But I also was picking up maybe 5,000 cars a year, so getting shot at three or four times really isn’t that much,” Bunn said. “I didn’t take the extra-chance jobs that guys who really needed the money did. But, yeah, it was exciting.”

Bunn would’ve been an easy guy to root for, but it wasn’t to be. The Redskins drafted him to provide competition for incumbent punter Kelly Goodburn, who finished second-to-last in the league in gross and net punting average in 1992. The team had apparently hoped to grab Bunn with a late-round pick, but they were scared he wouldn’t be available after the Atlanta Falcons selected a punter earlier in the third round. Goodburn won the competition in the preseason and Bunn was released.

I haven’t seen any crazy stories about Hocker yet, but there is this:

Scott Allen writes about all things DC sports. Follow him on Twitter @ScottSAllen or e-mail him if you’ve got a tip to share.
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