Dave Teggart is among the longest of long shots: a place-kicker hoping to hear his name called in the NFL draft.
“Unless you’re Sebastian Janikowski, taken in the first round, you’ve gotta go in there and beat somebody in camp no matter what,” Teggart said by phone this week.
The Northborough, Mass., native finished up his career at UConn as the Huskies’ career leader in field goals made, PATs and total points. As a junior in 2010, Teggart hit a 52-yard field goal in overtime to beat South Florida and clinch a BCS berth for UConn.
The 6-foot-1, 203-pounder was one of three Mass. natives to take part in the annual NFL combine. UMass fullback/tight end Emil Igwenagu, of Boylston, and Merrimack linebacker Shawn Loiseau, of Shrewsbury, also received invitations to Indianapolis, where they underwent the barrage of medical testing teams put prospects through and got a chance to impress scouts in workouts.
Teggart called the experience “hectic” but enjoyable.
“I took it as a five-day job interview,” he said. “These teams are making a pretty big investment in players and they have to make sure they check them out.
“It was definitely an experience.”
The biggest benefit of the combine for Teggart, who says he’s had interest from a number of teams, was proving that he can kick off after he wasn’t asked to at UConn.
“That was a big thing with teams: ‘How come you don’t kick off? You can’t kick off?’” he said.
The feedback on his kickoffs was positive after the combine.
“The best-case scenario is someone picks me up as a draft choice, as of now that’s a pretty real possibility,” Teggart said. “Usually kickers sign after the draft. Either way, for anybody you’ve gotta go in there [in camp] and you’ve gotta beat somebody out. That’s just the nature of the position.”
Both Igwenagu and Loiseau have seventh-round grades, according to Scouts Inc., and stand a chance of hearing their names called on Day 3.
Unlike many draft prospects, there was no trip to a fancy training camp in Arizona or Florida for Teggart. He worked out at UConn this winter, same as he has done the past four years.
As he waits to see if he’ll have a career in football, Teggart has been working as a substitute teacher in Shrewsbury. He’ll be home for the draft this weekend.
“Hopefully something good happens. If it does, I’d want to be with my family,” he said, “and if not I’d want to be with my family, also.”
Then Teggart laughed.
“It’s a little nerve-wracking not knowing where you’re gonna be or end up,” he said. “I feel like I’ve put in the work and hopefully something good happens.”
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.