Casey Legg has traveled a winding road to where he stands as West Virginia’s starting place kicker.
It was a road that started outside of the game of football entirely as Legg didn’t even play the sport in high school in large part because it wasn’t even an option. Instead, he suited up on the soccer field at Cross Lanes Christian School.
But decided to get into the game in college by walking onto the team and after a redshirt season earned a role as the primary kickoff specialist in 2019 and 2020.
But he also was pressed into field goal kicking duties as well going 7-11 over those two years as a reliable option on that front.
In fall camp, Legg battled Evan Staley who was returning from a season-ending injury the year before and simply won the post for this season.
“Going into fall camp he was probably three on the kicking depth chart and all he did is make kicks. Didn’t say a word, didn’t ask when he was going to play,” head coach Neal Brown said. “Everyday during field goal period he made kicks.”
Legg only missed two during the entire course of the pre-season and those efforts allowed him to seize that starting job.
And so far, that momentum has carried over going 4-4 with a pair of 44-yard attempts including one this past weekend against Virginia Tech.
It’s taken time to craft his swing in large part because it’s so different than what he has been accustomed to on the pitch. He has been working for three years in order to perfect his craft.
“It’s still not pretty, but whenever I make it I’m happy,” he said. “It’s definitely a work in progress.”
And Legg has certainly been making them of late, which is an accomplishment considering his background. It’s a situation where each kick is different, but he has embraced how to handle it.
“I definitely feel nerves, but I try to block all the outside stuff out. The pressure isn’t really that bad when you do that when you don’t think of scenarios or anything like that,” he said. “I kind of try to treat every kick the same. Definitely have some nerves, but excitement nerves than pressure.”
Legg compares having the spotlight on you when it comes to field goal kicking to something on the soccer field which has prepared him for those type of situations.
“A penalty kick if close. It’s very similar. All eyes are on you, make or miss,” he said.