Newly-signed Indianapolis Colts kicker Carson Wiggs grew up about 15 minutes from the Dallas Cowboy‘s stadium. He’s a big-leg kicker with a 67 yard field goal to his credit, and several instances of 70-yarders during practice. He chose Purdue University because he wanted to play in a big conference with big games in big stadiums (not to mention their reputation for academics).
Last season, he narrowly missed an opportunity to play in the Super Bowl as a member of the Seattle Seahawks.
Now Wiggs, who owns the record for the five longest field goals in Purdue football history, is coming home to another Super Bowl contender. For the first time in his career (other than a bowl game in Detroit), Wiggs will be kicking indoors.
But what about his new role in Indianapolis, with Adam Vinatieri and Pat McAfee already on the roster? Coach Chuck Pagano indicated to the Indianapolis Star that he thought it would be too much for McAfee to add field goal duties when Vinatieri retires. Wiggs seems like the perfect heir-apparent, a home grown guy. And like McAfee, he’s a dual threat capable of place kicking or punting, or laying a hit on a guy (he’s 6-foot-1, 220 pounds, and played corner in high school).
Wiggs has a degree in building construction management, but he’s been working double shifts as a restaurant server in Fort Worth and picking up maintenance jobs to make ends meet. Between teams, he struggled to find a home field on which to practice, using mainly local high schools (with different proportioned uprights), and Texas Christian University’s field. He’s also found a passion for coaching young kickers, and sees coaching as another possible avenue he’d like to explore later in his career.
Being an NFL caliber kicker can be something of a double-edged sword. There are only 32 jobs in the world, but those guys who make it, like Vinatieri, can play into their 40s. If Wiggs can get a foot in the door, expect him to stay around for a long time.