All the oohs and ahs emanating from the early training camp workouts at Rams Park haven't been reserved for the playmaking of the flashy new receivers and the occasional big hits from the defense. The punter has wowed the record crowds too. That's right. The punter. Given a chance to punt in front of last Saturday's record crowd Johnny Hekker was launching footballs seemingly from one end zone to another and with enough hang time to give fans plenty of time to show how impressed they were. The second-year pro clearly has the leg to become a star -- a punting star anyway. After his offseason in fact Hekker has a leg up on the road to stardom. Thanks to a suggestion by the Rams' front office Hekker became a YouTube sensation as the star of a trick-kick video produced by Dude Perfect a small group of young men who have gained nearly 1.4 million subscribers. In just more than a month since Dude Perfect's "NFL Kicking Edition" hit YouTube it has been viewed more than 1.8 million times. Interest hardly is waning either. Between Thursday and Friday afternoon the video was viewed more than 30000 times. Watch it and you will understand why it's so popular. Hekker pulls off three kicks that are nothing short of incredible: a 40-yard punt that banks off a backboard and drops through a hoop a 75-yard punt from the roof at Rams Park into a kiddie swimming pool on a practice field and a backward kick of about 10 yards that goes through the hoop. "That one took me the longest" Hekker said Thursday after Rams practice. "That one took a long long time." Hekker estimated he needed about 30 minutes to convert each of the other trick kicks. The seven-minute video which also includes tricks by kicker Greg Zuerlein and long snapper Jake McQuade was produced from about four hours of footage shot in two afternoons. "It's all legit" Hekker said. "No CGI (computer-generated imagery). We buried the shots." Hekker says he has watched the video only "two or three" times but has enjoyed basking in the spotlight he helped create for football's often-neglected specialists.
Rams punter -- yes, punter -- has been wowing training camp crowds
Fox Sports Midwest | Aug 3