Now the former Missouri Western State University kicker is making the transition from the college game to the NFL.
Taken by the Rams in the sixth round of the draft, he has everyone in St. Louis excited about his potential to make an instant impact
"I've been around, over the years, some really good kickers," notes Rams' head coach Jeff Fisher. "But he's a little bit different."
"He seems to be kicking the ball pretty damn far. We've been back almost at the 50, I feel like, kicking field goals. And it's pretty impressive."
The Rams are finding out about Greg Zuerlein what (MWSU) Griffon fans already knew - he's ridiculous. The sixth round draft pick is consistently booming 50-plus yarders in practice here. No surprise. Zuerlein was 9 of 9 in field goals of 50 yards or more for Western last season. He's had plenty of news coverage in St. Louis in Fandamonium. He's even earned a nickname from the media; Greg the Leg.
"You know, it's pretty much exactly what I expected it to be," Zuerlein says. "It's just a little bigger spotlight, but kicking's kicking. And I love it."
"He's here for a reason, because of production and his accuracy and leg strength in college," Fisher says. "We expected to see some good things, but didn't expect to see at this point, what we've seen. So now you pretty much have to carry over what is done on the practice field and our little scrimmage two weeks ago, into games and getting the opportunity.
This is not some rags to riches Cinderella, it's-a-dream-to-play-in-the-NFL story, Zuerlein knows knows he's good. Meaning getting here is not the end game. "Throughout my college career, I thought I had the ability and I just needed the opportunity. And luckily, the Rams are giving me an opportunity so far," Zuerlein says. "As far as I'm concerned, I'm still trying to win the job and I'm going to keep that mentality until I know that I've won the job. And even then, your job is never safe because you're just a few misses away from them bringing a different guy in. So you can never get comfortable."
63 yards is longest field goal in a game in NFL history. Zuerlein undoubtedly has that range and coach Jeff Fisher has an uncommon courage in letting his kickers go. The Rams averaged an NFL worst 12 points per game last year, so Zuerline should have plenty of chances to prove his worth.
The Rams play Kansas City, Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in St. Louis.
(Ryan Menley, KQTV Sports, St. Joseph, MO)