CEDAR CITY, Utah - Former Southern Utah punter and kicker Jake Gerardi is getting a shot to prove himself to an NFL team. The SUU graduate from Oceanside California has been invited to rookie mini-camp with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Gerardi said of the opportunity to try out for a spot with the Chiefs, "It's truly an honor to get an invite. It's what most, if not every college kid dreams of. I am really thankful to the Chiefs because they are giving me a shot just like Southern Utah did and I hope to have a similar outcome as I had at Southern Utah."

Gerardi was a difference-maker on the field for the Thunderbirds last season. In the fall of 2022, he punted 53 times for 2550 yards. With great skill, Gerardi placed 19 punts inside the 20-yard line and booted 21 punts of over 50 yards. During the season he set and tied his career-long punt of 73 yards against Tarleton State and Stephen F. Austin.

Gerardi paced the WAC and the FCS with a 48.0 yards per punt average over 53 attempts. He had four punts this year that traveled more than 70 yards. Gerardi also served as the primary kickoff specialist for the Thunderbirds. He registered a touchback on exactly half of his kickoffs, 31-of-62.

Gerardi was named First Team All-WAC and made the Bluebloods First Team All-WAC list. He also earned the distinction of WAC Special Teams Player of the Year for the 2022 season. In a rare feat, Gerardi, a special teams player, was honored by his SUU teammates as the team MVP for the year.

Gerardi's accolades extend beyond the conference as he was named to four different All-America teams. He was named to the 2022 Walter Camp Football Championship Subdivision All-America Team along with the AFCA All-America First Team. Gerardi's impact was recognized by the Associated Press when he was named to the 2022 FCS AP All-America First Team. Finally, Gerardi was recognized by the Division I Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association as a 2022 FCS ADA All-American.

The Chiefs will hold their rookie minicamp from Friday, June 5 through Sunday, June 8. Rookies get a chance to get to know the coaching staff during this period before the veterans get into the building. The camp will give them a chance to find out what they have missed in the offseason program to this point and allows them to acclimate to life in the NFL.