Greg Zuerlein (American football)
Zuerlein during practice in 2013
|No. 4 Los Angeles Rams|
|Date of birth:||December 27, 1987|
|Place of birth:||Lincoln, Nebraska|
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||187 lb (85 kg)|
|High school:||Lincoln (NE) Pius X|
|NFL draft:||2012 / Round: 6 / Pick: 171|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2015|
Greg Zuerlein (born December 27, 1987), nicknamed "Greg the Leg", "Legatron" and "Young GZ", 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.
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 play would earn him Nebraska All State and All Class honors as a junior and senior.
Zuerlein kicked for three seasons for the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) 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—the highest of any NCAA player in any division with 12 or more attempts in 2011 as he averaged 10.7 points per game.
St. Louis / Los Angeles Rams
Zuerlein was a sixth-round pick (171st overall) in 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.
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. 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 13, Greg 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 3 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." 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 Rams.
NFL records and honors
- NFC Special Teams Player of the Week, 2012 season, Week 4
- Longest field goal in Rams history: 61 yards
- Longest field goal in NFL history by a rookie: 60 yards
- Most 50-yard field goals attempted in a season: 13 (2012)
- First player in NFL history to make a 60-yarder and a 50-plus-yarder 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)
- "St. Louis Rams official website". Retrieved October 4, 2012.
- Associated Press. "Rams pick K Greg Zuerlein of Missouri Western in sixth round". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 29, 2012.[dead link]
- 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.
- Associated Press (April 28, 2012). "St. Louis Rams to release veteran kicker Josh Brown - ESPN". Espn.com. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
- Mayer, Larry (September 18, 2012). "Bears cruise behind strong defensive effort". Chicagobears.com. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
- Associated Press (September 30, 2012). "Greg Zuerlein makes St. Louis Rams-record 60-yard field goal". NFL.com. Retrieved September 30, 2012.
- Greg Zuerlein missed 3 field goals vs. Dolphins
- ESPN profile for Greg Zuerlein
- "'Legatron' agrees to 1-year deal to kick for Rams". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2016-05-09.
- "Greg Zuerlein makes 61-yard field goal". espn.go.com. November 8, 2016. Retrieved June 24, 2016.