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UFL Player Kicks Stunning Field Goal In First Try Since Teens, And Then It Gets Even Better

A United Football League kicker who hadn’t attempted a field goal in a game since high school made a 64-yarder to win his team’s opening matchup ― and immediately drew interest from the NFL. (Watch the video below.)

Jake Bates was living a long shot’s dream after leading the Michigan Panthers to an 18-16 last-seconds victory over the St. Louis Battlehawks in the opening weekend of the pro football spring league ― a merger between the XFL and USFL.

“I prepared for this moment,” Bates told Fox after his mighty boot, which the Detroit Free Press said was tied for the second longest field goal ever in pro football.

Bates’ feat at Ford Field in Detroit may have had an immediate impact on his career. The stadium’s main resident, the Detroit Lions, have inquired about him, as have several other NFL teams, Tony Paul of the Detroit News reported Sunday.

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What makes the story more remarkable is that Bates, who obviously has a powerful leg, never attempted a field goal in college. He played soccer at Central Arkansas and was a kickoff specialist at Texas State and Arkansas.

The Tomball, Texas, native appeared in a 2023 preseason game as an undrafted rookie for the Houston Texans but did not make the team.

But now he’s really got the attention of the NFL.

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