My Football Journey: Jimmy Newman
Jimmy Newman is a native of Oxford, Ala.

Nov. 7, 2012

This article was originally published in the Nov. 3 edition of Kickoff, the official gameday magazine of Wake Forest football.

Q: What is your earliest memory of playing football?
A: My first memory was in eighth grade--that's when I started playing. I was new to the whole thing so I wasn't just kicking. I hadn't kicked a ball yet, and it was my first practice and I got tackled by somebody and I wasn't used to it. It was a wake up call. Really, getting hit hard in my very first football play was my most memorable thing.

Q: Have you been a kicker your entire career?
No, I actually grew up playing soccer my whole life and my dad played in college and coached me growing up. Then I transferred schools in the eighth grade and a family friend asked if I would come out and try because they didn't have a kicker. That was the first time I ever thought about it.

Q: When did you first realize you could play at the major college level?
A: I realized that I could when I was in 10th grade. Ninth grade was when I set those goals and would get out to camps and there would be camp counselors and I could see how well they could kick. There would be a bunch of other kids there so you could judge yourself and get a feel for how good you were compared to everybody in your age group across the country.

Q: Describe the recruiting process and how you ended up at Wake Forest.
A: When I was going through, kickers are usually the last ones to get scholarship offers. I was looking at a school that could couple good academics with good athletics. There are not too many schools out there that can do that. There are a lot of big football schools out there that are really low on the totem pole with academics and vice versa. Wake really fit the criteria for that, and when I got here I liked everything about it, the way it looked and felt.

Q: What area of your game have you had to work the hardest to improve upon?
A: That's tough for a kicker. This past offseason was focusing a lot on kickoffs and trying to be durable and keeping that pop in your leg throughout the whole season. Not getting fatigue, that would probably be it and strengthening a lot of things, so you can hold up and still kick the ball like you did at the beginning of the season by the end of the season.



Q: Is there an area of your game that just comes natural to you?
A: Knowing how to kick a ball. A lot of the soccer technique is a lot different than actually kicking a football. I had to break myself from a lot of those habits. I would say just knowing how to strike a ball because of soccer came most natural.

Q: What is the best memory of your high school career?
A: It probably was not a kick. I just kicked a field goal and put our team up. I kicked a kickoff and ended up tackling a guy at midfield. And he went to play at Alabama and ended up getting picked 17th in this year's [NFL] draft and it was weird how I tackled him, it was kind of a fluke thing, but we ended up winning the game.

Q: Has there been a coach or mentor who has had a great impact on your career?
A: My first kicking coach I ever had--Jason Powers. He has been the one who has been there from when I started kicking and I still work with him every summer now. He's really helped me develop as a person and as a player and doing what's important. He has helped guide me as someone who has already been in those steps. He has been able to instruct me and guide me on how to handle different situations that might come up.

Q: What do you plan to do after your football career is over?
A: Pursuing graduate school in economics and, if not, working. I'll figure that out when my football career is over.

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