Publish date:

PJ Fleck prepared his freshman kicker for big Northwestern game by having him kick with his hair on the line

Western Michigan went into their season opener against Northwestern starting a true freshman kicker who had won about 3 games in his high school career, according to comments from PJ Fleck's press conference earlier this week.

Butch Hampton arrived in Kalamazoo as one of the top-five kickers in the country, and despite not having a ton of team success at the high school level in Oklahoma, Fleck said the kid was brimming with confidence since stepping foot on campus.

It's also worth noting that Hampton proudly rocks a mullet. And we're not talking a Mike-Gundy-ish-maybe-mullet here...we're talking the real business-in-the-front-party-in-the-back deal.

So during camp, while Hampton was walking around with that kicker-swagger, Fleck, being the ultra-competitive guy that he is, decided to challenge him to see what he's made of when the pressure is on.

"We had to put a ton of pressure on him in the preseason," Fleck explained. "So during training camp, he has a mullet, and you had to find ways to put pressure on the kid."

"I didn't tell you this story when it happened, because I didn't want people to know, until he made some kicks," Fleck shared before laying out the rest of the story.

One of those ways was to find out exactly how confident Hampton was in his abilities, so Fleck asked him if he was confident enough to kick a 39-yard field goal with his hair on the line. If he happened to miss it, the clippers were coming out. Hampton scoffed at the distance, so Fleck moved it back to 49.5-yards.

You have to listen to Fleck lay out the rest of the story in the clip. Hampton finished the game against Northwestern 3-4, and the only one he missed was a 50+ yarder. His field goals ended up being the difference in the Bronco's 22-21 win over the Wildcats over the weekend.

https://youtu.be/CGPo_mfOLDo?t=9m21s