MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Express kicker Austin MacGinnis was in Lexington, Ky., when he got the call to join the Memphis Express earlier in the week.
The former Kentucky Wildcat kicker was set on becoming a financial advisor, just passing his Series 7 and Series 66 exams.
The Memphis Express return home on Sunday, March 24 to face the Birmingham Iron. The game starts at 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. local) and will broadcast on NFL Network. Get tickets here.
Then the call from the Express came and he knew it was an offer he couldn’t pass up.
“I wanted to take some time off from work and focus on football,” MacGinnis said. “When you’re a pro, there’s no room to be thinking about anything else.”
But when it comes to preparation for the two professions, there was no debate for MacGinnis. Studying for the Series 7 was much harder than kicking field goals.
“I like kicking game-winners. I hate studying for tests,” MacGinnis said with a laugh.
MacGinnis went 4-for-4 on field goals in his team debut, including the eventual game-winner from 45 yards out to give the Express the lead with 2:42 left to play.
“I’m very excited about that,” head coach Mike Singletary said about his new kicker. “The consistency of this position is critical especially in a game like this. For us that really is a word that we want to expound upon, especially as we go forward the rest of the season, is consistency in every position."
A week into his professional career and MacGinnis is already receiving MVP chants from his teammates and has received a new nickname:
The Golden Boot.
“I know how hard the people work in the trenches and the work the players put in at practice,” MacGinnis said. “You just want to do your job when the time comes. There’s no better feeling than getting the first win. Hopefully we can keep this rolling.”
MacGinnis was a four-year starter at Kentucky, is the all-time leading scorer for the Wildcats and kicked plenty of game-winners in his college career.
MacGinnis also made his team debut with his good friend, punter Ryan Winslow. The two were together at Chicago Bears minicamp last year and relished the moment together before the game.
“It was great that I had some familiarity there with him,” MacGinnis said. “Having the opportunity to come in and debut together was awesome.”
Saturday night was certainly special for MacGinnis -- and a night he will never forget.
“This opportunity came up and I knew I had to make the most of it,” MacGinnis said. “I just like to win and it felt great to get out there again.”
- aaf.com -