Matt Gay: 2019 NFL Combine Preview

The rise of Matt Gay has been an interesting one. From waiter to soccer player. From soccer player to missionary. Missionary to kicker. Gay has taken a peculiar route to the NFL Combine but he’s there nonetheless.

For a more detailed look at his journey from busboy to NFL prospect, visit this link from Utah Athletics.

Matt exploded onto the scene in 2017, winning the Lou Groza Award in his first year of collegiate football. He’s a 2x All-American and 2x first-team All-Pac-12 performer. During his two seasons on The Hill, Gay quickly climbed the program record books: third all-time at Utah with 56 career field goals and fourth in attempts (65) … third in program history in career kick scoring points (253) … set the school record for 50-yard field goals (8) … career field goal percentage of 86.15% ranks second all-time at Utah … 85 career made PATs ranks seventh in school history.

As one of the top kickers in the NFL Draft, Gay will more-than-likely get his shot at the next level. His performance at the the combine, however, could decide whether he is drafted or invited to camp as a free agent.


  • Power: He has the thickness — and a BOOMING leg. I’ve seen him hit from 69 yards in a practice setting. Nice, right? Also, touchbacks.
  • Accuracy: 72% on kicks of 50-plus-yards, 35-of-36 under 40 yards.
  • Adjustments: Former soccer player, can alter release under pressure or in bad weather.


  • Not a real threat in coverage.
  • Awkward, slow approach due to his soccer background. Could be prone to blocked kicks(had 3 blocked in 2018).

His somewhat unorthodox kicking style might give NFL teams pause, but his sheer power and proven track record will undoubtably get him a shot at the next level. Even as a top kicking prospect, I expect him to either sign on as an UDFA or get picked up in the final round.

As all prospects do, Gay has spent the last week undergoing registration, interview, medical, physiological processes. He’ll have his on-field workouts on Friday morning. You can follow along live on the NFL Network.

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  • Porter Larsen is in his fifth year with ESPN700, covering the Utah Jazz and University of Utah Athletics on-air, online and on the sidelines. Larsen is the Executive Producer of The Drive as well as the host of Utes Game Day and After the Whistle on ESPN700. Before 700, Porter served as the voice of DSU athletics on X91.3fm and CECTV broadcasts as well as beat writing for the Sun News in St. George, Utah.

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