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NFL Draft Preview: Specialists

Local product Dave Teggart ready to kick in NFL

Dave Teggart made some big kicks for UConn during his career there.

Stephen Slade/UConn/File/2009

Dave Teggart made some big kicks for UConn during his career there.

There’s a kicker from New England who has shown a knack for coming through in pressure situations, even in bad weather. And he’s available to NFL teams for cheap money.

Former Patriot Adam Vinatieri?

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Nope, he’s got a job with the Colts at age 39. Try Northborough native and UConn graduate Dave Teggart.

Sure, Vinatieri’s Super Bowl boots are the stuff of legend. But how about a $14 million kick?

Teggart has one of those — a career-long, 52-yard boot in overtime against South Florida to clinch the Huskies’ first Bowl Championship Series berth (and $14 million payout) in 2010 — to go along with two other winners in his standout college career, which saw him named first-team All-Big East the past two seasons.

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“I think [kicking under pressure] appeals to teams because that’s the biggest thing,’’ Teggart said. “You have to have a guy who in the fourth quarter a team can lean on, and it’s those big kicks that are remembered. I think it gives me an edge.’’

Teggart, who starred in baseball at Algonquin Regional High, also thinks being from New England will endear him to teams.

“I grew up kicking in the snow and the wind and rain,’’ he said. “The game of football is played outside and in bad weather, sometimes in the winter. I think it gives me a little bit of an edge.’’

A good pressure kicker. Can kick in the elements. Sure sounds like Vinatieri.

Teggart, who participated in the NFL combine, may get a chance to kick against one of his heroes. The Colts are among the teams that have expressed interest in signing Teggart should he go undrafted.

“It’s funny because I did grow up watching [Vinatieri] and I just got a letter from the Colts,’’ Teggart said. “I was just thinking that I’ve watched him since I was little and I might have a chance to go compete with him now.’’

Teggart did not kick off for the Huskies, who used a kickoff specialist. Teams wanted Teggart to prove he could kick off, and he believes he did that at the combine and UConn’s pro day.

Teggart, who made 86.7 percent of his field goal attempts at UConn, and all five of his kicks over 50 yards the past two seasons, is one of the top five kickers in the draft. But he knows the reality is that only two are usually selected. And he’s fine going the undrafted route.

“That’s the most likely scenario,’’ he said. “There’s no backups, you have to go beat somebody out. That’s just the nature of the position. I’m fully expecting to go in there and compete. Nothing has ever been given to me as a kicker.’’

Greg A. Bedard can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @gregabedard.
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