What a journey to Super Bowl 55 for former Hickory High star Ryan Succop
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Kicking in the Super Bowl was not something on the mind of Tampa Bay kicker Ryan Succop as he entered Hickory High School back in 2001.
Succop didn’t start playing football until he was a freshman at Hickory High School. He was an outstanding soccer player as he was named to the all-state team 3 times with over 100 career goals.
“Never imagined playing in the Super Bowl,” said Succop. “It’s something you maybe dream about when you watch the Super Bowl and you sit there and go ‘man that would be so cool’ but it never really feels like a reality.”
17 years later, that fleeting thought while watching the big game is now about to become a reality.
But back in March of 2019, this moment didn’t look like it was even in the realm of possibility as Succop was a man without a team.
After 10 great years in the NFL, the 2019 season was a disaster. Before the season, he had knee surgery and could never get healthy. He went 1 for 6 kicking field goals for the Tennessee Titans and was released by the team after the season.
“I think that God sometimes puts adversity in our lives because he wants us to grow and wants to mold us,” said Succop. “I think that is something I learned through that time last year. Just to know that God is good. He’s going to allow us to go through some difficult things, but when we keep our eyes on him, things are going to work out.”
And it could not have worked out better for Succop.
He was picked up by the Bucs right before the season in September. He has had one of his best seasons ever as he is 28 of 31 on field goals and now is going to kick on his home field in Tampa for the Super Bowl.
Speaking of home, he knows he will have a lot of support on Sunday 630 miles back in his hometown.
“It will be real special on Sunday to hear from a lot of my friends and family from Hickory so looking forward to be able to represent them and hopefully we can go out there and get a win for everybody in that part of the state.”
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