Duquesne Kicker Brian Bruzdewicz Making Transition from Pitch to Gridiron
When Brian Bruzdewicz joined his high school football team, he was already committed to play at Duquesne, but not for football. A Peters Township High School and Century United product, Bruzdewicz joined the Dukes in 2018 on a soccer scholarship. Unfortunately, due to a conflict with his class schedule, he had to step away from soccer. Thankfully, he had his brief experience at kicker in high school.
“I didn’t really think it would go anywhere, but it’s just kinda funny how things turn out,” he said. “I’m just grateful that I had the opportunity to play football in high school ‘cause it prepared me for what I’m doing right now at this level.”
Bruzdewicz joined the football team for the 2020-21 season because he still missed that sense of competition and feeling of camaraderie that comes with being a part of a team. However, he didn’t know what to expect when it came to playing time.
“It was really more just coming in every day to practice, day in and out. I wasn’t told anything coming in, I had no expectations from anybody coming in. It’s just been a process for all of us, especially with everything going on. It’s been a lot of fun just coming in here and putting in work everyday and being around my brothers.”
Then, the day before Duquesne’s opening game against Sacred Heart rolled around, and head coach Jerry Schmitt told Bruzdewicz the job was his.
“Me and Coach Schmitt, we have a great relationship. I think he has trust in me. But, yeah it really came down to the day before and he asked if I was ready to go and I said ‘yes’ and I guess the rest is history from there.”
In Duquesne’s 30-27 win, Bruzdewicz went perfect, going 3 for 3 on both extra points and field goals, while also handling kick off duties. He won NEC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance.
“It was awesome. I look at it more like a team award because I can’t do what I do without 10 other people on the field. I’m glad I was just able to go out there and do what I need to do.”
In last week’s 17-0 win against Wagner, Bruzdewicz continued his perfection, knocking threw both extra points and a 33-yard field goal in very winding conditions.
While his soccer career on the bluff was short lived, Bruzdewicz’s journey as a student athlete has been renewed with a start to football as successful as he could hope for.
Bruzdewicz and the Dukes will be back in action on Rooney Field Sunday, when they host the LIU Sharks.