Is Westlake’s Justin Tucker The GOAT?
Quickly claimed by every fantasy football league, Justin Tucker continues to prove his worth as one of the top kickers in the sport.
But is this former Westlake standout the best ever?
It’s a conversation definitely worth having, especially with what transpired last year against the Detroit Lions. With the game slipping away, Tucker booted a desperate kick, scoring an impossible, record-breaking 66-yard field goal to win the game.
This past February, the NFL named it the “Best Moment of the Year.”
One week after the record, he broke another, scoring his 300th field goal in fewer games than anyone in history.
So far, he holds the record for accuracy. Since his rookie season, he has made 91.1% of his field goals (with 98.1% inside 40 yards), averaged 136 points per year, and has a contract through 2027 worth $24 million — the largest.
Locally, in his sophomore year at Westlake, Tucker made the varsity team.
The locker room was rife with NFL talent; quarterback Nick Foles, tight end Kyle Adams, and linebacker Bryce Hager all took the field with him. In his junior year, he accepted a scholarship to kick for UT, and graduated a semester early to become a Longhorn that January. His last season with the Chaparrals, he was named the third-best place-kicker in the nation by ESPNU, booted in 30 field goals, and managed 155 PATs.
In his first season as a rookie, the Ravens won the Super Bowl. For his next five seasons, he didn’t miss an extra point.
Recency bias pegs Tucker as the GOAT after only ten years of play. The acronym is something that gets thrown around a lot, but Tucker has a stake to the claim more than most.
Who is closest to challenging his consistent cleat?
Adam Vinatieri had the longevity and Super Bowl moments.
Morten Andersen was the undisputed king of the 1980s and made the Pro Bowl seven times — the most in his position.
Stephen Gostkowski was Tucker’s direct mentor, and possessed a kicking motion that his successor is directly poached.
One thing that can’t be argued: Tucker is the best place-kicker to ever graduate from Texas High School football. Aspiring Lone Star State athletes would be wise to learn all they can from the vet (and occasional opera singer).
CLICK HERE to listen to the Texas HS Football Podcast, with Taylor Arenz