"Coach (John) Fassel went out and did a number of private workouts with a number of kickers and punters, and he came back, and he clearly was blown away at the leg and the distances on the kickoffs and the distance and accuracy of the field-goal game," Fisher said of Zuerlein. "We felt like it was going to be a need. We needed to upgrade the position, and so we couldn't pass on this opportunity.
"Josh was a great kicker, and he was tremendous here. But I spoke with him immediately after the pick, and he understands."
Zuerlein, who kicked 23 field goals last season and missed only one, broke an NCAA Division II record last season with 21 consecutive field goals, including nine that were 50 or more yards. He kicked two 58-yard field goals last season.
"It doesn't matter what class you are in in high school or what division you're in in college, the goal posts are the same," Zuerlein said. "Fifty yards is fifty yards. It should translate to the NFL."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press