Adam Vinatieri (born December 28, 1972 in Yankton, South Dakota) is an American football placekicker playing for the Indianapolis Colts. He is generally considered the best clutch kicker in the history of the NFL. He formerly played for the New England Patriots, playing in 4 Super Bowls and winning 3.
He is the second of four children. He has two familiar family ties. His great-great grandfather is Felix Vinatieri, who served as General George Armstrong Custer's bandmaster. He is also a third cousin to the famous daredevil, Evel Knievel. Adam attended Rapid City, South Dakota's Central High School, where he was a letterman in football, track, wrestling, and soccer.
Vinatieri was originally recruited to kick for Army and attended West Point for several weeks in 1991 before deciding to return home to South Dakota. He was a four-year letterman at South Dakota State University as a placekicker and punter. He finished up his college years of football as the school's all-time scoring leader with 185 career points scored. (His younger brother Beau was a place kicker at Black Hills State University before graduating in 2003.)
With his impressive professional resumÃ©, many football analysts and purists believe that Vinatieri will eventually land in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a realm typically unfriendly to placekickers (only one pure placekicker, Jan Stenerud, is currently enshrined).