18 Andy Dittbenner
Finished his career seventh on the NIU charts for career average (39.9), fifth for career attempts (209) and fifth for career yards (8,337). Four-year starter at punter for the Huskies.
2008: Ray Guy Watch List honoree punted 41 times for an average of 39.1 yards to rank eighth in the Mid-American Conference. The 41 punts were the lowest season total of his career. Only two of his punts all year were kicked into the end zone for touchbacks. Earned MAC Special Teams Player of the Week accolades after his performance at Eastern Michigan when all four of his punts were downed inside the 20-yard line. Averaged a season-best 47.2 yards per punt in that game with a season-long punt of 54 yards. Placed 10 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line. Earned NIU Special Teams Player of the Week honors following the Eastern Michigan and Toledo games. Booted a 50-yard punt at Central Michigan. Racked up 291 yards on eight punts at Ball State, dropped two inside the 20-yard line and forced five fair catch calls. Punted five times for a 39.4-yard average in the Independence Bowl game with three of those punts fair caught. Had 244 yards on six punts in the season opener at Minnesota to average 40.7 yards per kick with five of those not returned. The primary holder on field goal attempts.
2007: Set the NIU record for season punting average with 43.5 yards per attempt and totaled the ninth-highest single-season yardage total with 2,564. His punting average ranked fifth in the MAC and 16th nationally. Earned recognition as co-winner of NIU's Most Improved Player award at the conclusion of the season. Dropped 16 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line and 12 of his kicks were fair caught. Booted 16 punts for 50 yards or more on the year. Averaged 48.5 yards on two attempts against Southern Illinois (9-8). Punted eight times with four kicks over 50 yards, including a 60-yarder, and two inside the 20 while averaging 47.8 yards per attempt at Idaho (9-22). Idaho average ranks fifth on the Huskies' single game list. Averaged 44.0 yards per kick and dropped three inside the 20 on seven attempts at Temple (10-6). Punted eight times for 357 yards for a 44.6 average and booted four kicks over 50 yards at Wisconsin (10-20). Placed four of seven punts inside the 20 and had three fair catches while averaging 45.0 yards on seven kicks at Toledo (10-27). Booted a career-best 62-yard punt vs. Kent State (11-10). Dropped two punts inside the 20 and had his other two attempts fair caught at Navy (11-17). Punted six times with three fair catches and completed a 10-yard pass on a fake punt vs. Ball State (11-24). Missed most of the Iowa game after suffering a concussion on a tackle attempt. Credited with three solo stops on the year, including two at Wisconsin.
2006: Played in 10 of 13 games (team did not punt in three contests) and averaged 37.9 yards on 55 attempts with a long of 58 yards. Dropped 14 punts inside the 20-yard line. Punted six times for 37.8-yard average at Ohio State (9-2). Placed three of four punts inside the 20 while averaging 40.5 yards per attempt vs. Buffalo (9-16). Dropped two of three punts inside the 20 vs. Indiana State (9-23). Recorded season-high average of 44.2 yards on five attempts at Western Michigan (10-14). Punted eight times vs. Toledo (11-7). Booted career-long 58-yarder while averaging 40.6 yards on nine punts with one placed inside the 20 vs. TCU in Poinsettia Bowl (12-19).
2005: Played in all 12 games, averaging 38.6 yards on 54 punts. Booted four over 50 yards, including a long of 56, and dropped 16 inside the 20-yard line. Credited with four tackles, three solo. Averaged 42.3 yards on three punts at Northwestern (9-10).Totaled eight attempts for 339 yards (42.4 avg.) at Akron (9-24). Hit 56-yard punt in eight attempts at Kent State (10-22). Placed all three punts inside the 20 vs. Western Michigan (11-23). Averaged 46.6 yards on five attempts, including 50-yarder, against Akron in MAC Championship Game (12-1).
High School: Consensus all-state kicker. Named team captain, team Offensive MVP, and team Special Teams MVP, unanimous first team All-Cornbelt Conference at punter, first team All-Cornbelt Conference at PK and WR, plus second team All-CC at DB and first team Bloomington-Normal Daily Pantagraph All-Area at punter as senior. Earned special mention Champaign News-Gazette All-State, special mention Chicago Tribune All-State, and first team Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Class 4A All-State during final campaign. Averaged 41.0 yards on 44 punts and caught 36 passes for 877 yards (24.4 avg.) and nine TDs as WR, and collected 56 tackles, five interceptions, and three fumble recoveries at FS while adding 4-of-6 field goals and 26-of-28 PAT kicks during senior year. Second team All-Cornbelt Conference selection as kicker and as punter during junior season. Tabbed honorable mention All-CC at PK as a sophomore. Also recruited by Illinois, Northwestern, and Iowa.
Personal: Born March 16, 1987. Business organization and management major. Son of Melvin and Linda Dittbenner. Barry Sanders fan. Hobbies include cars, movies, and video games. Huskie Scholar with a 3.0 GPA in the 2008 spring semester.
DITTBENNER'S CAREER STATISTICS
DITTBENNER'S CAREER GAME HIGHS
Punts: 9, vs. TCU (Poinsettia Bowl), 12-19-06
Average: 53.0 (2 punts), vs. Kent State, 11-10-07
Long: 62, vs. Kent State, 11-10-07
Inside 20: 4, twice; last at Eastern Michigan, 9-27-08