Gaelic footballer, Panthers tryout K Rory Beggan believes he belongs in NFL

One of the more interesting names at Carolina Panthers rookie minicamp this spring is Rory Beggan, a kicker who landed a tryout look by way of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program. And although American football isn’t his original kind of football, the Irishman believes he belongs here.

Beggan chatted with reporters following the team’s outing on Saturday. He was asked about the football he first played over in Ireland.

“Gaelic football in Ireland—it’s a religion, really. It’s what we grew up playing,” he replied. “It’s been a part of my life since six years of age. My father played it. I come from a little village called Scotstown in a county called Monaghan. And it’s just been a massive part of my life. Playing it earlier this year, I’ve been playing it. And I’ve been lucky enough to come out here and showcase the skills that I have as a kicker.”

He hadn’t showcased those skills until last fall, kicking his first American football back in September. Beggan said he nailed a 66-yard field goal while training in Florida earlier this spring.

But that may not have been a shock to Beggan, who comes over as an All Stars Award-winning boot.

“I’ve been known as a kicker, a free-taker, back in Ireland in Gaelic football,” he added. “I’m a goalkeeper, so a lot of my time is kicking a ball. So it’s transferred nicely over into this sport. I know there’s definitely improvements to be made, but I feel like I do belong in places like this.”

Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire