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T-post Tom
04-27-2009, 10:32 PM
I be the kids were merciless with that last name...


Former Hickory star last pick of NFL Draft
By Chris Hobbs | Hickory Daily Record
Published: April 27, 2009

HICKORY - If you ever watched Ryan Succop kick a football at Hickory High, you could see this coming.

Well, part of it anyway.

The surprise on Sunday was not that Succop, who kicked for South Carolina the past four seasons, was one of the 256 players drafted by NFL teams.

As the second day of the draft in New York pushed nearer its 16th hour of calling out names, 255 of them had been matched up with the NFL teams that wanted them.

Dan Gronkowski, a tight end from Maryland, was next-to-last. And then it was time for the fanfare that comes at the tail end of the two-day draft.

About three minutes before time for the last guy to be picked they call him Mr. Irrelevant Succop's phone rang.

He was hanging out in Columbia, S.C., with teammates, friends and his family (dad David, mom Kathy, older sister Kelsey and little sister Ali had all made the trip from Hickory).

The call was from the Chiefs, letting Succop know he was about to become Mr. I.

"I was ecstatic," Succop said by phone several hours after becoming semi-famous. "I was really excited.

"We knew about it (the award) and we knew Kansas City had the pick and there was a chance to be taken last."

When he was, the phone just kept ringing and ringing and ringing.

At some point, he spoke with Paul Salata, who thought up the Mr. Irrelevant award and started giving it out in 1976. By 10 p.m. Sunday, Succop estimated he'd been able to return maybe 15 of 50 phone calls he'd received.

"I've really haven't thought a lot about it (being Mr. Irrelevant)," said Succop.

Succop is the 34th name to go on Salata's list. It's not as high-profile as being picked No. 1, but it has its perks.

In June, Succop heads out to Newport Beach, Calif., for a week-long series of events that Salata, a former college football player, has developed.

The Mr. Irrelevant celebration includes a golf tournament, a regatta and a sports banquet at which the guy with the booming foot who wore No. 64 for the Red Tornadoes gets The Lowsman Trophy.

The trophy is a parody of The Heisman Trophy and looks exactly like it except the player is fumbling the ball.

It's a trophy that may make ya chuckle the whole concept of Mr. Irrelevant actually does but there's also another way to look at it, says Hickory High head coach John Worley.

"He's the 256th best football player in the United States of America," Worley said Sunday night. "And for a kicker to be able to say that is as much an honor as getting drafted in the first round as a running back."

And Worley's exactly right. You can count on one hand the number of area players who have been drafted in recent years running back Leon Johnson of Freedom (Jets), offensive lineman Michael Collins of Hickory (Ravens), defensive lineman Shane Burton of Bandys (Dolphins) and, last year, Bandys wide receiver Justin Harper (Ravens) and draft number is not the biggest thing about it.

Succop was most certainly have been signed as a free agent by somebody, but gets to skip that decision.

"The best part of it (being drafted) is having an opportunity to play in the NFL," Succop told The Associated Press. "Whether it's middle pick or the last pick, I'm just happy to have the opportunity."

He earned it.

While battling a sports hernia injury last season, Succop hit 20 of 30 field goals, including a long of 54 yards, in the Gamecocks' 7-6 season.

As sophomore and junior, Succop made 29 of 37 field goals. He did not punt last year for South Carolina, but in the two years he did he averaged 42 yards per punt.

And there are those booming kickoffs. At Hickory High, they rocketed into the end zone with regularity and brought with them poor field position for opponents.

Succop, who is an unkicker-like 6-foot-3 and 221 pounds, rivals only one other prep kicker that I've covered in nearly 35 years of following prep football.

He is different (much bigger) than Shelby's Clint Gwaltney, who went on to kick at North Carolina, but perhaps even more of a pro prospect.

When Gwaltney kicked for the Golden Lions, retired head coach Jim Taylor once told me, he gave his offense a single challenge just drive the ball past midfield.

At Hickory High, Succop did not run out on the field and kick 60-yarders that got his name into the record books. He didn't have to, and the most inexperienced of eyes could see his pro potential.

"I took it (high expectations) as a compliment more than as pressure," Succop said. "It inspired me."

His path to the NFL, though, was not automatic. He had to work for it.

"The biggest thing is hard work," Succop said of maximizing his potential. "I've been blessed by The Lord with an ability it all starts right there.

"Something I pride myself in is not taking a day off, getting in the weight room or working on technique."

It has earned him a shot at being a pro football player.

He still has graduation in front of him (May 8) and the Chiefs' camp beings May 7. Being Mr. I will add a few things to the travel log, too.

At camp, Succop will have to battle former North Carolina kicker Connor Barth (from Wilmington) for a spot on the roster.

And in an odd twist, if Succop wins that battle and Harper (who spent last year on the Ravens' injured reserve unit) makes the Baltimore roster, they would debut in the NFL together. Among the Sept. 13 season openers is Kansas City at Baltimore.

Worley's money is on his star kicker, one of only two picked in this year's draft.

"You know, it's unbelievable that a kicker gets drafted anymore," Worley said. "That's a feather in his cap to be drafted as a kicker.

"We felt like when he was in high school, he had the ability to play in the NFL. The strength of his leg, his size, his athletic ability and his mental toughness. He's just a big, tough kid.

"He's got the strongest leg I have ever seen in my life. And them drafting him, a kicker, that's them telling Ryan you are our man."

When it's all said and done, if Succop is wearing red and white and putting a ball on the tee for the Chiefs, where he was picked won't matter.

Sure, being the last pick insures he's on an NFL novelty list that folks will always be able to look up on the Internet. But Succop wants to be much more.

"Maybe," he said, "I can become the most famous Mr. Irrelevant."

http://www2.hickoryrecord.com/content/2009/apr/27/former-hickory-star-last-pick-nfl-draft/news/

Tribal Warfare
04-27-2009, 10:45 PM
I hope he''lll end the PK curse that has strikened KC since Lowry left.

solidgold
04-27-2009, 10:46 PM
So, I guess we're gonna have a good ole "Civil War" style battle for the kicking position. Who's it gonna be? Barth from North Carolina or Succop from South?

I like this part-
"Sure, being the last pick insures he's on an NFL novelty list that folks will always be able to look up on the Internet. But Succop wants to be much more.

"Maybe," he said, "I can become the most famous Mr. Irrelevant."

Maybe Pioli tried to make a statement by drafting this kicker in the final spot, no? The kid sounds like the perfect Pioli "football player".

KCCHIEFS27
04-27-2009, 10:49 PM
He won't make the team.

solidgold
04-27-2009, 11:17 PM
He could have a decent shot. It will depend on whether his kickoffs go considerably farther than Barth's and if Haley values a guy who can consistently get it into the endzone (that's what she said).

It would also depend on whether during camp he is closer to the 78% kicker as a sophomore and junior or the 66% kicker last season.

T-post Tom
04-27-2009, 11:17 PM
I hope he''lll end the PK curse that has strikened KC since Lowry left.

Stoyo wasn't so bad, was he? (Other than the 10 yard kickoffs. :doh!:)

Nero's Neptune
04-27-2009, 11:20 PM
He won't make the team.

I actually think it's his job to lose. They wouldn't waste a draft pick on him (even a 7th rd pick) if they didn't want him to make the roster. Sounds like his kickoffs will be a huge improvement. If he's steady enough with his field goals during training camp, job is his, imo.

DA_T_84
04-27-2009, 11:29 PM
I will probably get ripped for this, because it is usually a stupid idea and waste of a roster spot---- but is it even in the realm of thought that we keep both? One as kick off specialist (Succup) and one as a FG specialist (Barth)?

I highly doubt these two guys excel at their skills so much that it outweighs one locking up both duties and taking the extra roster spot.

Just throwing it out there.

Miles
04-27-2009, 11:31 PM
They wouldn't waste a draft pick on him (even a 7th rd pick) if they didn't want him to make the roster.

The "waste a pick" mentality is fairly amusing when its applied to the last pick of the draft.

From what I saw of him catching SEC games is he should have a solid enough chance to pan out for a kicker.

T-post Tom
04-27-2009, 11:34 PM
I will probably get ripped for this, because it is usually a stupid idea and waste of a roster spot---- but is it even in the realm of thought that we keep both? One as kick off specialist (Succup) and one as a FG specialist (Barth)?

I highly doubt these two guys excel at their skills so much that it outweighs one locking up both duties and taking the extra roster spot.

Just throwing it out there.

Not likely under the current NFL limit on roster numbers.

Hog Farmer
04-28-2009, 12:53 AM
Hiis low % last year was attributed to injury.

A kicker that can consistently put the ball in the end zone is a valuable asset to any team.

Plus he was picked with out supplemental pick. A freebe.

MoreLemonPledge
04-28-2009, 04:54 AM
Pioli: OK, time for the last pick. What need haven't we filled yet? I see a couple of linebackers we could take.

Haley: ...uh, what? *puts down bong* Yeah...huh? I'm thinking a grande meal from Taco Bell would be great. Hehehehe....

Pioli: Christ, Todd. Stay with me for one second. We've got 2 minutes left and we need to pick somebody. Look at the board. How about an offensive lineman?

Haley: Hehehe... Suck up. That's funny. Because if he misses a kick, we can say he really sucked it up.

Pioli: My God, are you really this stupid? We've really got to come up with...

Draft Official: Time's up. Who's your pick?

Pioli: Ummmm...let's go with Aaron -

Haley: Ryan Suck up. We want Ryan Suck up. *takes hit from bong*

Draft Official: OK, pick is in.

Pioli: Seriously? A KICKER?

Haley: You're right. Should have picked the grande meal.

Tiger's Fan
04-28-2009, 05:16 AM
A deep kickoff guy is a compliment to building the depth on ST we started this offseason. With the importance of field positional value, I bet he has a shot.

acesn8s
04-28-2009, 05:34 AM
C'mon, Coach, let me be part of the team.

All right, Kid, you be our kicker. You're such a suck up, Succup.

John_Wayne
04-28-2009, 07:17 AM
I like this guy. Not only can he kick FGs. But, he can be a valid backup punter. That's valueable. Apparently, he has long kickoffs. That's something the Chiefs have been looking for for quite a while. At 6'3" and 225, maybe he could tackle someone once in a while too. It would be good to not have a midget on the filed covering KOs. So, last year I liked Barth. But, this year I'm rooting for Succop. I hope he can suck it up and win the job! :p :thumb:

Mr. Kotter
04-28-2009, 07:23 AM
Bet he could kick Sebastian Janokowski's pussy Polack ass....

Yeah.

JOhn
04-28-2009, 07:31 AM
Bet he could kick Sebastian Janokowski's pussy Polack ass....

Yeah.
Shit, my 76y/o blind mother could probably kick that fat lazy bastards ass. LMAO

Extra Point
04-28-2009, 08:51 AM
Pioli: OK, time for the last pick. What need haven't we filled yet? I see a couple of linebackers we could take.

Haley: ...uh, what? *puts down bong* Yeah...huh? I'm thinking a grande meal from Taco Bell would be great. Hehehehe....

Pioli: Christ, Todd. Stay with me for one second. We've got 2 minutes left and we need to pick somebody. Look at the board. How about an offensive lineman?

Haley: Hehehe... Suck up. That's funny. Because if he misses a kick, we can say he really sucked it up.

Pioli: My God, are you really this stupid? We've really got to come up with...

Draft Official: Time's up. Who's your pick?

Pioli: Ummmm...let's go with Aaron -

Haley: Ryan Suck up. We want Ryan Suck up. *takes hit from bong*

Draft Official: OK, pick is in.

Pioli: Seriously? A KICKER?

Haley: You're right. Should have picked the grande meal.

:Cough:

Yeah, man.

htismaqe
04-28-2009, 09:08 AM
Hiis low % last year was attributed to injury.

A kicker that can consistently put the ball in the end zone is a valuable asset to any team.

Plus he was picked with out supplemental pick. A freebe.

He was nails from 40 and under throughout his career...

MoreLemonPledge
04-28-2009, 02:23 PM
http://media.scout.com/Media/Image/27/277982.jpg

Chiefshrink
04-28-2009, 02:39 PM
With a name like that and standing at 6'3" 225lbs my guess he has literally lived similiar to Cash's song "a boy named Sue". I bet this kid is not only physically tough but mentally as well which is what we have not had since Lowry as someone stated earlier. This kid kicks ass as well as the football I'm sure!!!:thumb:

Deberg_1990
09-07-2014, 01:38 PM
Do you miss??