Recruiting: Vinatieri name making the rounds again as Adam’s son AJ gets closer to college decision

It’s been 20 years (to the day) of Adam Vinatieri’s Snow Bowl kicks against the Raiders.

Feel old? You’re about to feel even older.

Vinatieri’s son AJ is a senior at Zionsville High School in Indiana and is currently one of the most sought after kickers (and punters) in the country. The younger Vinatieri has grown up carrying the famous last name, but as he pursues his own path towards playing college ball and hopefully a career the NFL, he hasn’t really felt any pressure that the name might carry with it.

“I mean honestly I feel like there is no pressure,” AJ said during an interview on Tuesday night. “My parents have told me since day one that I am my own person and they will support me on any path that I choose. I just want to be the best version of myself and create my own legacy, and it’s awesome having that support system from my family.”

It’s not an overstatement to say AJ is legitimately one of the top kickers and punters in the country. As it currently stands, the younger Vinatieri has close to 20 scholarship offers, including recent offers from UNH and UMass. 

“I currently have 17 offers and I am very thankful for all of them,” Vinatieri said. “Some of the top schools that offered me are UMass, University of Miami, Florida, Michigan, South Dakota State, Marshall, LSU, UNH, IU, and many more.”

As a senior, you’d think Vinatieri would want to get the decision process over as soon as possible, but that’s not the case. Vinatieri is perfectly content letting the offers roll in while waiting to make his choice until he’s completely comfortable with the decision.

“I plan on committing when I feel the time is right,” he said. “I’m very excited to finally find my next home and take the next steps forward. I’m hoping this commitment will be in the near future, but I’m willing to wait as long as I can to find the right fit.”

While the anniversary of the Snow Bowl kick(s) or the Super Bowl kicks are dates that will be celebrated forever in New England, AJ never got to see or experience the love this fan base had for his father. AJ only saw Adam kicking for the Colts, so does he really know just how much his dad is appreciated around here?

Well, he does, but mostly from the Three Games to Glory DVD’s and other highlight videos.

“I never knew how cool my dad was in New England until I watched some videos of him and the success he had with the Patriots,” AJ admitted. “It gave me chills watching those special kicks and makes me wish that I was old enough to experience those moments with him.”

Massachusetts or New Hampshire fans would absolutely adore the opportunity to cheer for the Vinatieri name again, but does Adam’s folk hero status in the area have any pull in AJ’s decision? Maybe a little bit. 

“My parents have always told me how much they have loved Massachusetts, so that definitely has some influence on my decision making,” he acknowledged. “They also told me that wherever I go they will watch and support me, but  selfishly they probably want me closer to home.”

Of course, Adam Vinatieri never punted, but AJ has been doing both. Will he do both in college? Does he want to follow in his father’s footsteps or stick to punting? Actually, it might be the latter and it might be his best option towards creating his own legacy. 

“I would love to do both, but as of right now I’m a more developed punter. I love punting and I’ve been able to make huge strides,” AJ said. “I also feel that that is a way for me to create my own path and legacy considering that it is a whole different position.”

Much like his father and the team he played for to begin his career, AJ Vinatieri will ultimately do whatever’s asked of him wherever he ends up.

Hopefully, the Vinatieri name will have a rebirth somewhere here in New England. If not, you should still be ready to start hearing the name again for years to come.

“At the end of the day, I will do whatever the team needs me to do and pursue my best opportunity to get on the field as quickly as I can,” AJ added.