Greg Zuerlein (American football)

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Greg Zuerlein
refer to caption
Zuerlein during Rams' practice in 2013
No. 4 – Los Angeles Rams
Position: Placekicker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1987-12-27) December 27, 1987 (age 29)
Place of birth: Lincoln, Nebraska
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 191 lb (87 kg)
Career information
High school: Lincoln (NE) Pius X
College: Missouri Western
NFL Draft: 2012 / Round: 6 / Pick: 171
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career NFL statistics as of Week 6, 2017
Field goals made: 129
Field goals attempted: 159
Field goal %: 81.1
Career long field goal: 61
Touchbacks: 232
Player stats at NFL.com

Greg Zuerlein (born December 27, 1987) is an American football placekicker for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL). A native of Lincoln, Nebraska, he played college football at the University of Nebraska Omaha and Missouri Western.

Early years[edit]

Zuerlein was born in Lincoln, Nebraska and graduated from Lincoln Pius X in 2006. In 2004, Zuerlein set a Nebraska state record for field goals in a season, converting 12-of-16 attempts with a long of 52 yards. His successful play would earn him Nebraska All-State and All-Class honors as a junior and senior.[1]

College career[edit]

Zuerlein attended the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) for three seasons, but sat out the 2010 season with a hip injury. Zuerlein set the UNO school record of 61 consecutive PATs while converting 19 of 26 field goal attempts.

UNO cancelled its football program in 2011, and he moved to another Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association school, Missouri Western State University, in 2011. There, he set a NCAA Division II record of 21 consecutive field goals including nine that were 50 or more yards which in turn included two 58-yard field goals. He had a .952 field goal percentage completing 23 of 24 attempts, which was the highest of any NCAA player in any division with 12 or more attempts in 2011 as he averaged 10.7 points per game.[2][3]

Zuerlein during Rams 2012 Training camp.

Professional career[edit]

St. Louis / Los Angeles Rams[edit]

Zuerlein was drafted by the St.Louis Rams in the sixth-round (171st overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. He was the first non-Bowl Championship Series kicker to be drafted since Stephen Gostkowski in 2006, and the first below the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision since Paul Ernster in 2005. The Rams cut their primary kicker Josh Brown, who was in the final year of his $14.5 million five-year deal, the same weekend they drafted Zuerlein.[3][4]

In Week 3 against the Chicago Bears, Zuerlein made a 56-yard field goal, the longest at Soldier Field.[5]

In Week 4, Zuerlein hit a 60-yard field goal against the Seattle Seahawks, which beat the franchise record of 58 yards, set by Zuerlein earlier in the same game. The kick broke Jeff Wilkins' 14-year record.[6] He also became the first player in NFL history to make a 60-yard field goal and a 50-plus yarder in the same game.

In Week 6, Zuerlein missed three field goals wide left, the first two from 37 and 52 yards, and the final one at 66 yards to tie the game against the Miami Dolphins.[7]

In Week 13, Zuerlein made a 54-yard field goal with 26 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Rams a 16-13 victory over the San Francisco 49ers at Edward Jones Dome. It was the second longest successful field goal in NFL overtime history. The field goal was three yards short of tying the NFL overtime record which is held by Sebastian Janikowski. In 2008, Janikowski set the NFL overtime record with a 57-yard field goal to give the Oakland Raiders the win.

His ability to convert long field goals has earned him the nickname "Greg the Leg."[8] In 2012, he attempted 13 field goals of 50 yards or longer, converting seven; in 2013, he has only attempted one such field goal, which he missed.

On April 15, 2016, Zuerlein signed a one-year contract to return to the Los Angeles Rams.[9]

On March 14, 2017, Zuerlein signed a three-year contract extension with the Rams.[10]

On September 10, 2017, in the season opener against the Indianapolis Colts, Zeuerlein converted three field goals and five extra points in the 46–9 home victory.[11] He tied with Oakland Raiders' kicker Giorgio Tavecchio for the most points scored by a kicker in Week 1 with 14.[12]

On October 1, 2017, Zuerlein broke the Rams record for the most field goals in a game going 7 for 7 (surpassing Jeff Wilkins in 2006) against the Dallas Cowboys in the Rams 35-30 upset win, earning him NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.[13]

NFL records and honors[edit]

  • NFC Special Teams Player of the Week - Week 4 (2012), Week 4 (2017)
  • Longest field goal in Rams history: 61 yards[14]
  • Most 50-yard field goals attempted in a season: 13 (2012)
  • First player in NFL history to make a 60-yard field goal and a 50-plus-yard field goal in one game
  • First player in NFL history to make two field goals of 58+ yards in one game
  • Longest field goal in the first quarter: 58 yards (tied with Nick Lowery)
  • Longest field goal in the third quarter: 60 yards
  • Most 60+ yard field goals made in NFL history: 2 (tied with Sebastian Janikowski)[14]
  • Rams record for highest field goals: 7 (surpassed Jeff Wilkins)

Personal life[edit]

Zuerlein and his wife, Megan, have three young children.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "St. Louis Rams official website". Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ Associated Press. "Rams pick K Greg Zuerlein of Missouri Western in sixth round". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 29, 2012. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b Sipple, Steven M. (April 28, 2012). "Pius X grad Zuerlein gets sixth-round call from Rams". Lincoln Journal Star. Journalstar.com. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  4. ^ Associated Press (April 28, 2012). "St. Louis Rams to release veteran kicker Josh Brown - ESPN". Espn.com. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  5. ^ Mayer, Larry (September 18, 2012). "Bears cruise behind strong defensive effort". Chicagobears.com. Retrieved September 24, 2012. 
  6. ^ Associated Press (September 30, 2012). "Greg Zuerlein makes St. Louis Rams-record 60-yard field goal". NFL.com. Retrieved September 30, 2012. 
  7. ^ "NFL Football Highlights, Clips & Analysis - NFL.com". www.nfl.com. 
  8. ^ "Greg Zuerlein". ESPN.com. 
  9. ^ "'Legatron' agrees to 1-year deal to kick for Rams". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2016-05-09. 
  10. ^ Simmons, Myles (March 14, 2017). "Rams Agree to Terms with K Greg Zuerlein". TheRams.com. 
  11. ^ "Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Rams - September 10th, 2017". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 6 October 2017. 
  12. ^ "Player Game Finder Query". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 13 October 2017. 
  13. ^ "Deshaun Watson, Todd Gurley among Players of Week". NFL.com. October 4, 2017. 
  14. ^ a b "Greg Zuerlein makes 61-yard field goal". espn.go.com. November 8, 2016. Retrieved June 24, 2016. 
  15. ^ Beattie, Trent (November 12, 2016). "Kicking Field Goals From St. Louis to Los Angeles: Record-setting Rams' kicker Greg Zuerlein". National Catholic Register. EWTN News, Inc. Retrieved 2016-11-12. 

External links[edit]