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Former USC Kicker Hopes Pro Day Performance Lands an NFL Job

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Spencer punted extremely well at pro day hitting three punts with a hangtime over five seconds.  He says he hopes his performance was enough to help him get drafted. Spencer punted extremely well at pro day hitting three punts with a hangtime over five seconds. He says he hopes his performance was enough to help him get drafted.

By: Steve Huegel

NFL Pro Day has come and gone at the University of South Carolina.  Fourteen former Gamecock players demonstrated their talents trying to increase their stock before the NFL draft next month.

Pro days are held at universities across the nation because scouts believe players feel more comfortable at their own campus which leads to better performances. 

Former USC placekicker Spencer Lanning was one of the players trying out.

"Its very weird to have an opportunity to do all this, I'm extremely blessed," said Lanning.

Lanning was USC's starting placekicker and punter for two years

"I came into school as a walk on then went through the ranks and was privileged enough to be a back up for the first two years," said Lanning.

 He trained five, sometimes six, days a week since the college season ended to prepare for Pro Day on March 30.

 "My ultimate goal is to play a handful maybe ten years in the NFL," said Lanning.  "Eventually I'd like to go to med school and do something in medicine."

 Spencer is close friends with another former USC kicker who now plays in the NFL.           

 "That's kind of a neat day.  You've worked your whole life for that opportunity," said Ryan Succop, placekicker for the Kansas City Chiefs.  "Spencer just needs to be himself and kick the ball the way he can.  It's going to be fun to see his journey and how well he does.  

 "I'm excited and its weird not having anything to do just planning for one day," said Lanning.

 Scouts from 28 of the NFLs 32 teams came to USC's pro day.  The event had to move inside to the practice facility because of bad weather.  Scouts did get to see Spencer kick early in the day at Williams-Brice Stadium.

 Spencer kicked extremely well through the wind and rain putting a few kickoffs in the end zone. He also punted well hitting three punts with a hang time over five seconds.

 Corey Miller, a former USC standout who went on to play with the New York Giants was also on hand.  He said this day is extremely important for the players.

"It's a lot of nerve racking moments," said Miller.   "I can tell you that because not just the scouts and head coaches are there, but you got family and friends here too, so you want to put up good numbers and impress."

 Spencer made all the field goals inside 50 yards he tried.  His only misses of the day coming from 50 and 55.

 "My field goals left a lot to be desired but I think I put myself into a good position," said Lanning

Pro Day is over, but that doesn't mean he is done working.        

 "I'm going to try and network myself as much as possible," said Lanning.  "I want to get my name out there and just continue working so if I'm privileged enough to get a try out I will be able to handle it."

 Spencer's dad, Tad Lanning, said he son's time at USC has been more than a positive experience.           

 "Its helped us grow as a family," said Tad.  "We're going to be lost next year."

He started as a walk on at USC, and now he could potentially play in the NFL. 

 However, the Lanning Family will have to wait a few more months to find out if Football will carry over from Saturday to Sunday.

 Spencer kicked extremely well through the wind and rain putting a few kickoffs in the end zone. 

 He also punted well hitting three punts with a hang time over five seconds.

 Corey Miller, a  former USC standout who went on to play with the New York Giants was on hand.  He said this day is extremely important for the players.

 "It's a lot of nerve racking moments," said Miller.   "I can tell you that because not just the scouts and head coaches are there, but you got family and friends here too, so you want to put up good numbers and impress."

 Spencer was fortunate enough to get some field goals in before the rest of the day was moved inside.  He made all his field goals inside 50 yards with his only misses of the day coming from 50 and 55.

"My field goals left a lot to be desired but I think I put myself into a good position," said Lanning

 The combine is over, but that doesn't mean he is done working.        

 "I'm going to try and network myself as much as possible," said Lanning.  "I want to get my name out there and just continue working so if I'm privileged enough to get a try out I will be able to handle it."

 Spencer's dad, Tad Lanning, said his son's time at USC has been more than a positive experience.           

"Its helped us grow as a family," said Tad.  "We're going to be lost next year."

 Spencer started as a walk on at USC, and now could potentially play in the NFL. 

 However, the Lanning family will have to wait a few more months to find out if football will carry over from Saturday to Sunday.

 

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