Gonzalez Didn't Want to Join Team

The walk-on kicker, Tyler Gonzalez, said Rick Neuheisel had to text him and compel him to join the team...

Tyler Gonzalez talked to us at practice this week.

Q: So…big switch from managing the soccer team, huh?

A: It's definitely different. I'm getting interviewed right now, for starters. It's a bigger arena, I guess, of just stuff. Between the hotel, and the traveling, the bus, the airplane, and interviews. It's just…bigger.

Q: So one might say you're still sky high about it.

A: Definitely, I've been riding this one for a couple of weeks now. It's a great feeling.

Q: What was your initial reaction to getting asked to kick? Was it something you wanted to do?

A: No, not initially. Initially, I was like, "Thanks for the offer, but I'm over here on the soccer side." I enjoyed soccer, and I was comfortable over there so I was like, "I don't want to do that." This is my last quarter here, and I didn't really want to get involved with a big change. He (Rick Neuheisel) just kept on texting me, saying come on, come on, come out. And I guess it was just that I haven't been competitive in almost five years now, so there was something inside of me that was like, you've got to step up to this challenge. Even if it's just to prove it to myself that I still have that competitiveness in me.

Q: Did Coach Neuheisel see you kicking himself before bringing you on to the team?

A: I came out here once in front of Angus (McClure). I didn't hear from them after that, but about a month later I got another text that said "Neuheisel wants you to come out tomorrow before practice." So I came out and kicked in front of Neuheisel and that was one of the days before the Texas game, and now here I am.

Q: I can understand initially being leery of taking that on, especially during a super senior year, but then when you think about it…

A: Yeah, it's awesome. Definitely not something I ever thought I'd be doing my last year in school.

Q: So what's your range like?

A: I kicked one from 50 today. Kicked it from 50, hit the back of the net, so it probably had 5 to 10 yards of clearance. But from that distance…I'm probably comfortable from 40. I think the more I kick from distance, the more comfortable I'll get and the more confident I'll get. So definitely from 40, but I can hit it from 45 easy.

Q: Is it nice to have the uprights straight now?

A:I don't know what they did, but they fixed it.

Q: Well, you had to like the degree of difficulty. Makes the games easier right?

A: It was just frustrating because I hit one a couple of weeks ago where it would have gone in if it hadn't been slanted. I should have hit it straighter, first of all, but yeah, it's like, come on, give me that extra foot.

Q: Is there a hash that you're more comfortable on?

A: I'm pretty comfortable from both, but if I had to say one or the other, I'd say more of my misses come from the left side.

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