Huegel Excited To Be a Gamecock

The South Carolina football team returns one of the top kickers in America in 2007 in junior Ryan Succop, but the Gamecocks may have secured their kicker of the future over the weekend when Penn Trafford High School (Harrison City, PA) standout placekicker Steve Huegel decided to accept the Gamecocks invitation to be a preferred walk-on.

The 6'0, 185 pound Huegel, who also received strong interest from Division-I programs like Georgia, Wake Forest, Virginia, Duke, and Syracuse, visited Columbia this past weekend and felt at home on the USC campus.

"I visited South Carolina over the weekend, and they gave me the offer to walk on, and that‘s what I‘m going to do," said Huegel. "My visit was a great experience. It's a great, rising program. I liked the warm weather, and the football facilities were unbelievable. When I was making my decision, I wanted to base it off if football were to end for me that I'd still be happy there. They had amazing facilities and such a nice campus. Columbia was a nice town, and it just clicked. It felt right."

Huegel is considered one of the top placekickers in the country after finishing in second place during the kicking portion of the prestigious U.S. Army All-American combine. At that event, he hit 7-7 field goals, including makes from 50 and 55 yards. While the strong legged high school senior can also handle kickoff duties, he says that kicking field goals is his area of expertise.

"I would say I'm a field goal specialist. I kickoff too, but I think my field goals are my strength."

With Succop firmly entrenched as the Gamecocks' starting kicker for the next two years, Huegel said he is more than willing to wait his turn and learn as much as he can in the process.

"Right now they have an NFL type kicker who is a junior. So what I'm going to try to do is redshirt when I get up there to get some tips from the kicker that's kicking now to sort of better my abilities."

Huegel, who said he plans to arrive at USC in August, is excited about the opportunity to play for a coach like Steve Spurrier in college.

"I think it's a great opportunity. Of course he won a Heisman Trophy. He's coached in the NFL and played in the NFL. He's certainly someone that knows what's going on, and he's one of those guys that when you walk in the room, you just respect him right there. I think it's a great opportunity, and I look forward to playing for him."

The 2-star rated prospect said that his longest successful field goal try was from over sixty yards away.

"In high school we kick off a block, and the longest kick I ever made in practice was sixty-five yards. In competitions I've made it from fifty-five, but in a game, my longest was forty-three yards."

Huegel, who was recruited by Coach Shane Beamer for the Gamecocks, closed by sharing what goals he has set for next season and beyond at USC.

"Next year I'm going to try do the best I can to help the team out any way I can. For future goals, I'd like to kick in front of 90,000 screaming fans at Williams Brice Stadium."

The Keystone State kicker won the field goal and kickoff competition at the Jamie Cole kicking camp with a long field goal of 55 yards and a 70 yard kickoff that had a hang time of 3.9 seconds. He placed first in the field goal competition at a 2006 Florida combine, making 10-11 attempts with his only miss coming from 60 yards away. He plans to major in broadcast journalism at USC.

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