Jack Fox made Rice Football fans proud in his NFL debut, excelling as the starting punter and kickoff specialist for the Detroit Lions.
Former Rice Football punter Jack Fox kicked played in his first NFL game this weekend. He showed no signs of any first-game jitters, blasting the opening kickoff for a touchback to start the game. He would go on to excel in a variety of roles in his pro debut.
Fox tallied two other touchbacks, put six kickoffs into the endzone. He had two punts travel more than 50 yards, both of which were downed inside the 15-yard line. He also handled holding duties for kicker Matt Prater. If that wasn’t enough already, he registered his first career tackle on kick coverage.
“Honestly I think I built it up in my head leading up to the game,” Fox said. “When I got on the field it just felt like a normal football game. But still a cool experience.”
For Fox, it took a “redshirt” year to master the finer details of the punting profession. A season spent on and off practice squads combined with an offseason working out with fellow specialists in Birmingham (at what has been dubbed the Punter Conclave on Fox’s recent appearance on The Roost Podcast) ended in a heated battle for the starting job in Detroit. Fox won the job at the end of camp. He proved on Sunday he was more than deserving.
Despite Fox’s efforts, the Lions were unable to win the game. Running back D’Andre Swift dropped what would have been the go-ahead touchdown pass from in the closing seconds. Had he hauled it in, the Lions would have won and made Fox’s NFL debut that much sweeter. Even still, Fox had a stellar start to what continues to look like a promising professional career.
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