Greg Huegel’s football career began with his desire to be more aggressive.
As a rising freshman at Blythewood, Huegel said he “wanted the chance to hit people,” so he switched from soccer to football. He made the Bengals’ junior varsity as a safety, but the varsity was looking for a kicker and Huegel was drafted.
“It was kind of ironic. All I wanted to do was make tackles, but they would rather have me as a kicker on varsity than a safety for junior varsity,” Huegel said.
In the four years since, Huegel has not had many chances to hit opponents, but he has been a plenty reliable kicker for the Bengals.
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“At the beginning every time I’d get out there, I’d kind of hope (opponents) get through so I can hit somebody,” Huegel said.
“But now, I’ve gotten past that,” he said. “I get that same thrill from just kicking the ball as hard as I can on kickoffs. That’s where I get to be aggressive.”
While the Bengals have had three head coaches through his career, Huegel has managed to hold steady.
When the Bengals started 0-2 under first-year coach Dan Morgan, Huegel worked to improve his performance on special teams.
Huegel has 32 touchbacks and averages 59.3 yards on kickoffs.
He has contributed 44 points to the Bengals’ offense, with eight field goals and 20-of-21 on extra points.
“For the most part my job has remained the same,” he said. “Even though the head coach has changed, I feel like with my experience, one of the main things that I could do is be a role model for the younger players on my team.”
Huegel figured the best way to be a role model was to be a congenial role player.
“I just want to do whatever my team needs at that moment,” he said.
Of course, Huegel still thinks about hitting the opposition.
“A lot of times, on the sidelines, it gets hyped up whenever it’s third and short, and the defense needs to get a big stop and sometimes I wish I could be in that position, too,” he said.
“But being the kicker, all that pressure and excitement builds up the same way when it’s a kick that could tie or win the game.”