It is a bit surprising that former Alabama Crimson Tide kicker Jeremy Shelley went unnoticed and undrafted in the 2013 NFL Draft. What wasn’t unexpected is that the Atlanta Falcons took note of the potential that the other teams didn’t or chose not to see and jumped on the chance to sign him.
Make no mistake, Matt Bryant is firmly ensconced as the Falcons’ kicker and has been since 2009. Bryant is also 37 years old. There is no doubt that he has good years left, but there is no time like the present to plan for the future.
Jeremy Shelley is that future.
A 2011 and 2012 semifinalist for the prestigious Lou Groza Award, Shelley was the only kicker in the nation who didn’t miss a field goal or extra point in 2012. While that perfect record was the shining culmination of an impressive college career, it wasn’t by any means the sole highlight. In the 2012 BCS National Championship Game that pitted Alabama against LSU and marked the first-ever shutout in a BCS bowl game, Shelley set the BCS record with five field goals. Making 15 of the 21 total points for a team in the championship game—or any game, for that matter—is no small feat.
The Falcons are looking for determining factors in a winning equation that takes them all the way to the Super Bowl. Shelley will fit comfortably into that equation for the future. Matching Super Bowl rings would certainly complement the many Alabama National Championship rings quite well…for Shelley and his once-again teammate Julio Jones.