Dublin ace Rock would have fancied crack at NFL shot

Dublin star Dean Rock is a keen follower of American football
Dublin star Dean Rock is a keen follower of American football Dublin star Dean Rock is a keen follower of American football

IT may be too late in the day now, but Dean Rock admits he would have fancied a crack at seeing how his skill-set held up as an NFL kicker.

The Ballymun man has been among the most reliable free-takers in Gaelic football during the past decade and, at a time when American colleges are scouting Ireland for potential scholarship material, Rock could once have come on their radar.

Earlier this year, Laois’s Ross Bolger was recruited by Leader Kicking, set up and run by Galway-born former rugby union player Tadhg Leader with the aim to provide a possible pathway for Irish athletes in American football.

And Dublin ace Rock has been an interesting observer.

“Obviously I'd be a big fan of the NFL so I'd watch it quite a lot,” he said.

“I've kicked an American football quite a bit. My cousin is in America, in LA, he would have played a bit of college or high school American football over there. He was a goal kicker over there, Ciaran Rock.

Read more:

  • Ross Bolger: The Laois footballer turned American football kicker with the world at his feet
  • Top GAA stars exploring opportunity of pro career in American football

“So any time we were over on family trips we would have kicked away or practised and that sort of stuff. So it was probably a little bit transferable from the rugby side of things but it's certainly a different, a totally different thing [to GAA].

“But yeah, you'd always fancy yourself at being able to do it, but I think it's a bit different when there's six-foot-five or six-foot-six guys running at you trying to block the thing. Fair play to Ross, it looks like he's going to have a good college life over there and who knows where it might take him.

“I think a lot of people have jumped on that bandwagon or that dream of maybe going over and being an NFL kicker. I don't know how easy it is to make it over there, I'd imagine it's ultra, ultra competitive.”