If the only thing your fantasy roster is missing is a young Irish kicker, we’ve got you covered. Patrick Murray, whose father Aidan played at senior level for Monaghan and uncle Ciarán won an All-Star for the Farney in 1985, is now the starting kicker for the Tampa Bay Buckaneers. Even more remarkable is the fact that he got the job (over the most accurate kicker in Tampa’s history, nonetheless) after receiving no training camp offers and showing up instead at open try-outs.
The 23-year-old Murray was born in New Jersey and graduated from Fordham University in New York, but he spent summers kicking frees with his cousins at St. Tiernach’s Park in Clones and cites the Irish rugby star Ronan O’Gara as one of his biggest influences.
“I went on YouTube and watched as many clips of Ronan O’Gara as I could, how he prepared for the kick, doing the same thing every time. I’ve tried to bring that into my game, though I have a lot less time to kick than he did,” he told The Journal’s online sports section The Score.
In fact, Murray, who was the second-ranked kicker in the NCAA his final year at Fordham, has always considered Ireland his place of origin, telling The Score, “I feel like Ireland is my home and even thought about going to college there.” But in the end, Fordham it was. Tampa and your fantasy team will undoubtedly be grateful.