Greg Joseph didn’t even start kicking a football until the end of his junior year at American Heritage High School in Delray Beach.
Yet there he was on Friday night, lining up for a 54-yard field goal for the Miami Dolphins, in a preseason game at the Carolina Panthers.
Joseph had plenty of leg. And plenty of accuracy.
“It felt good coming off the foot,” Joseph said Sunday. “It’s awesome. It’s a pretty surreal feeling.”
Joseph moved to Boca Raton from Johannesburg, South Africa, at the age of 7. Watch the NFL? Sure, a bit.
“But I’ve really been a fan of Manchester United my whole life,” he said.
Joseph is an undrafted free agent who stood out at Florida Atlantic, and he’s hanging in a competition with 7th-round pick Jason Sanders.
“I’m competing against me,” Joseph said. “It doesn’t matter what Jason does. Obviously we’re both here for a reason. But at the end of the day it’s me vs. me. And I’m focused on what I can do to make myself better.”
Joseph has one advantage in the competition. He considers Cody Parkey (aka the Jupiter Juggernaut) a mentor.
Parkey and Joseph (the Boca Bomber?) have trained together.
“Mindset advice,” Joseph said of his time with Parkey, a fan favorite who took the big bucks and headed to the windy city of Chicago.
It’s colder there, according to a league source.
Joseph and Sanders are now sharing a locker. This is not uncommon for rookies during training camp and the preseason.
But Sanders, who seems quite serious and focused, was in no mood to joke about who is neater.
“No, no,” Sanders said. “You’re not going to bait me into any of that.”
All that will matter is who makes the most kicks, in the preseason and in practice. Sanders if 5-for-6 in the preseason, missing his 50+ opportunity.
Joseph is 2-for-2, connecting from 54 and 48.
“I’m going to take it as far as I can,” Joseph said. “Each time is still a cool experience. I’m not taking it for granted. I take it for what it is. I make sure to take it in. Take in the moment. Take a deep breath. These are awesome experiences. And memories I’ll never forget.”