P Julian Diaz proves that getting a spot on LA Rams is hard work

Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams free agency Julian Diaz
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Just kicking around an idea of punting

Raised in Lincoln, California, Julian Diaz is a 2017 graduate of his hometown Lincoln High School. His community is nestled just to the north and east of Sacramento. While California has plenty of football players whose roots began on the West Coast, Diaz’s beginnings were a bit . . .  unique.

He was a soccer player from an early age. But as Nevada Sports Net Chris Murray pointed out in an August 2021 article, football was coming. He joined the football team in his freshman year after his older brother, a placekicker, injured his knee. In his sophomore season, the punter was injured, and so Julian Diaz added punting to his resume.

But his efforts did not attract the attention of college football programs, and with the attention, the precious football scholarships. But he did find a way, accepting an offer from American River College to come aboard their junior-college roster. There, his leg did his talking for him. All the while, he was working two jobs, studying, and playing football.

"“I was working as a rice farmer throughout the day and on weekends I was a food runner at a restaurant,” Diaz said per Nevada Sports Net Chris Murray"

After graduating from the two-year program, he was offered a walk-on spot to play for the Nevada Wolf Pack by Nevada associate head coach Angus McClure.

In 2020, he did not qualify to be considered among the NCAA leaders. But Julian Diaz’s 46.3-yard average for punting was good enough to be among the Top-10 NCAA punting leaders. After that one season with the team, Diaz was offered a full football scholarship.