Friday, August 09, 2013

Another Feagles getting his kicks at UConn

Blake Feagles is fully aware that there are certain assumptions to go into his football playing career.

Considering that his father Jeff punted more time than any player in NFL history and he is more than 10,000 punting yards ahead of any other NFL player, Blake Feagles knows people will look at him exclusively as a punter. However, in the first week of UConn preseason camp he has made more waves playing receiver than as a punter.

"A lot of people really assumed that my dad is really pushing me to be a punter but I played lacrosse my whole life, I played baseball up until I was in sixth grade, whatever I wanted to do," Feagles said during Friday's UConn football media day. "Whatever he wanted me to do he was totally supportive and he did not push me whatsoever.

"I feel like he is almost more excited for me to play receiver than to punt because my older brother he went through college and he punted and my dad has never really seen the receiver side of it so he is really pumped."

Feagles wasted little time in making an immediate impression as a receiver as he caught a long pass down the left sideline in his first practice with the Huskies. While he has some work to do before he cracks UConn's two-deep chart at receiver, he has been in the rotation at receiver in both practices I was able to watch.

"I thought I was going to be a slot receiver but they moved me to the outside which really doesn’t mean much in our offense," Feagles said. "At first I wasn’t too confident with it and it was going a little slow but it is starting to pick up."

Other than his father, perhaps nobody is more fired up that Blake Feagles is on the team than incumbent punter Cole Wagner who has been asking his freshman teammate about his famous father.

"He was my roommate for camp so I talked to him about his dad a little bit and his dad’s career," Wagner said. "He is a good kid, he is funny so it is good plus he was a wide receiver like I was when I first came here. I actually talked to him last night about his career, how long it was and how great it was."

When Feagles was asked about the most memorable experience watching his father punt in person, he wasted little time in recalling Super Bowl XLII when Feagles and the New York Giants stunned the previously undefeated New England Patriots.

"That was unbelievable," Feagles said. "My dad, he played for 22 years and the one thing he wanted to do before he retired was to get a Super Bowl. We were going up against the Patriots, they were unbelievable 18-0. My whole family thought if we win or we don’t, we are still happy for my dad and when it came down and we won, we all stormed the field. It was unbelievable."

So was Feagles a punter or receiver first?

"Punter definitely came first," Feagles said. "My early high school years I was only the punter and I played lacrosse as well so I was fast, I started playing running back, I started playing receiver and I said to myself ‘hey, you might be able to do this.’ I took a postgraduate year (at Avon Old Farms), got recruited and now I am here trying to do both. They automatically assume because of the last name that I am a punter but it is definitely cool that I branched off and did my own thing. My dad, he approved of it. A lot of people might think he is mad that I am not punting but he is fully supportive."

Feagles does get some reps at punter at UConn but most of his time is spent at receiver.

"The time element of it, playing receiver, I don’t get too much time to kick but when I am getting time to kick I am making use of it," Feagles said. "I am trying to get any opportunity to take and do it."


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