Are you sure you want to be an NFL kicker?
In the January 11th edition of Sports Illustrated was an article about NFL kicker, Chase McLaughlin. Currently with the Indianapolis Colts.
“Currently” is the crucial word.
You see, Chase is living your dream… or your nightmare, depending upon how you look at it. Every kicker wants to get to the NFL, but how bad do you really want it? Chase does, very badly, or he wouldn’t endure what he’s gone through to stay in the league…According to SI, Chase has played for six teams in his first four years!
And that’s not the half of it. If you look at Chase’s journey (below), you’ll see a kid from Cyprus Woods High School in Texas (who played both soccer and football) and was asked to walk-on at the University of Illinois. Chase did, and earned a scholarship his sophomore year and then became 1st Team All Big 10 by his senior year and prepared himself for the 2019 NFL Draft with high hopes.
Now for the “fun” part:
2019 Apr. – Chase went undrafted
2019 May – Signed by the Buffalo Bills
2019 Aug. – Waived by the Bills
2019 Sep. – Signed to the Minnesota Vikings practice squad
2019 Sep. – Waived by the Vikings
2019 Oct. – Signed by the Los Angeles Chargers to cover for injured kicker, Michael Badgley
2019 Oct. – Cut by Chargers on Badgley’s return
2019 Nov. – Signed by the San Francisco 49ers to cover for injured kicker, Robbie Gould
2019 Dec. – Waived by the 49ers
2019 Dec. – Signed by the Indianapolis Colts to cover for injured kicker (and future HOF) Adam Vinatieri
2019 Dec. – Signs a one year extension with the Colts through 2020!
2020 Sep. – Cut by the Colts
2020 Sep. – Signed to the Vikings practice squad
2020 Nov. – Signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars from the Vikings practice squad to cover for injured kicker, Josh Lambo.
2020 Nov. – Placed on reserve/COVID list by the Jaguars
2020 Dec. – Waived by the Jaguars when they activated kicker, Aldrick Rosas
2020 Dec. – Signed by the New York Jets
2021 Jan. – Promoted to starter when the Jets cut Sam Fricken.
2021 May – Waived by the Jets
2021 May – Claimed off of waivers by the Cleveland Browns
2021 Jan. – Chase plays the entire season as the Browns kicker!
2022 Apr. – Re-signs with the Browns for 2022!
2022 May – Waived by the Browns
2022 Sep. – Signed to the Colts practice squad after releasing Rodrigo Blankenship
2022 Oct. – Elevated to the Colts active roster
2022 Oct. – Earns AFC Special Teams Player of the Week
2022 Jan. – Chase finishes the season with as the Colts kicker
2023 Feb. – As of February 9th, Chase is still on the Colts active roster
And now for the “real” story and take-away…
BE THE BEST THAT YOU CAN BE FOR YOUR TEAM RIGHT NOW
That’s the story. There’s nothing wrong with chasing your dreams, but don’t forget to live in real life, right now. I suggest to you, to worry a whole lot less about scholarships and recruiters and all-conference and all-state teams. Stay with the guys you know and love on your team. Work with your coach. Earn his trust to get more opportunities to kick and punt… and when you do, perform your best because you’ve prepared your best!
When you succeed, enjoy it….and when you fail, embrace it and continue to get better.
How quickly can you come back from a miss to get the chance for a make?
This is the purpose of Mike Farley’s Kickers Camps. We teach you the fundamentals, some advanced stuff, too.. and the mentality behind becoming a better teammate.
I suspect that there are lots of “birds chirping in your ear” — listen less to that and really live in the moment. Only 7% of high school players even play football in college. I’d like to see you as one of them — I really would — but if not, then I’d like you to enjoy a high school career that brings a smile to your face with stories to share and memories that’ll last your lifetime.