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June 14, 2011

Jets Kicker, Nick Folk Interview

by Max Strauss
90 NF

Nick Folk  played college football at the University of Arizona. He then entered the 2007 NFL Draft and was drafted in the 6th round by the Dallas Cowboys. During his rookie season, he earned both Pro Bowl and All-Pro recognition. He signed with the New York Jets after an interesting 2009 season. He has greatly improved his kicking since. This interview was done before the 2011 NFL season.


If you want to download the audio interview with Nick Folk, right-click this link.
To feel what it was like to meet Nick Folk at JetsCamp, read this article here.
This interview could not be completed without the help of www.thetitangrp.com/

Announcement : My name is Max Strauss with http://prointerviews.org/, http://facebook.com/ProInterviews/ and http://twitter.com/ProInterviews/. I’d like to welcome you to the interview with Nick Folk. Folk attended the University of Arizona from 2003 to 2005. During his senior year, he was an All-Pac 10 selection. He played both punter and kicker his senior season. He then entered the 2006 NFL Draft and was drafted in the sixth round, 178th overall to the Dallas Cowboys. During his rookie season, he set the franchise record for most points scored by a kicker in Cowboys’ history. He appeared in his first Pro Bowl in 2007. In the 2010 offseason, he moved to the New York Jets. He kicked the game winning field goal for the Jets in the final seconds of their wildcard playoff game against the Colts. Here is the interview with Nick Folk. I hope you enjoy the collages also. Please check out below to read answers to the personal questions.

Strauss : How do you connect with your fans?

Folk : I go to a lot of charity events. There’s a charity I work really closely with Charity for Children’s Tumor Foundation. I try to get out as much as possible with the Jets and try to interact as much as possible. It’s hard for us to get out and interact a lot with fans in the offseason. I’m in California. I’m not even in the New York/New Jersey area, so it’s hard for me to get out and meet fans that are out the games. I’m not there, and I’m just trying to do my training to prepare for next season. I try as much as possible. If people send fan-mail, I’ll send as much as I can back, if not everything. I’m pretty good about pictures, and I’ll take as many pictures as possible within the time frame that I have. If I have to go somewhere, and someone wants a bunch of pictures, I’m sorry. I try to give to the fans as much as possible, and I usually have a good time doing it.

Strauss : What is your high school football experience like?

Folk : High school football was fun. I went to a private school and I didn’t know anyone except for five people I knew that from my middle school. One of the guys I knew said he was going to play football and he asked if I was going to play so I said, ‘Alright, I’ll go play football.’ Since they needed a new kicker because the kid who went to the high school left. That kid also went to the same middle school I went to. But, when he went to the high school, that’s all he did. I said, ‘Alright, I’ll be a kicker.’ It started off as a way to meet people, and I met a lot of great people and had a lot of fun. I ended up playing high school football, and there was no better place to play than California.  It helped me get into college, so it was pretty awesome.

Strauss : How hard was it for you to give up soccer?

Folk : Very hard. I almost went to college to play soccer, but I didn’t. I chose football instead.

Strauss : What was the transition like from high school to college?

Folk : It was tough. I had a lot going on. It was pretty easy. But as far as football, it was pretty tough too because in high school you could kick off of the tee for field goals, and then you have to kick off of the ground in college. I trained all summer to get ready to kick off the ground. As far as getting involved there, they all respected everyone and pretty much pushed us pretty hard to do our job. We all had a great time. It made the transition part pretty easy, so I really enjoyed playing there and I had lot of fun.

Strauss : During your senior season, you were All-Pac 10 while playing both punter and kicker for Arizona. What was that like?

Folk : It was more out of necessity. I went to punt my junior year because my roommate/best friend got hurt during one of the games, and we didn’t have a backup, so I became the punter. I punted one pretty well during the end of the year. Then going into my senior year, we had a couple guys who tried out. I ended up punting though more out of necessity, and I ended up punting. It is what it is. I had a good time doing it and had a lot of fun. My heart was at field-goal kicking. It was much more my style, I guess you could say. I had a good time with it.

Strauss : Do you have a favorite memory from Arizona?

Folk : I’d have to say it was my hitting the game-winning kick during my senior year. It was the first game of the year against BYU. It kind of helped the program turn around. We got back up above .500. We did a good job. It was a lot of fun. I definitely would say kicking the wining field goal against BYU.

Strauss : What was your draft day experience like?

Folk : We had a big party. We didn’t know what was going to happen. The first day it was just kind of like family and friends. The draft was only two days, Saturday and Sunday. We just kind of relaxed and had a good time. We actually went out to dinner with John Wooden, the UCLA Basketball coach right before I got drafted. That was a lot of fun. I got to pick his brains a lot on anything and everything. I had fun doing that. The next day, we just sat around and waited for the phone call. As soon as I got drafted, we had a lot of people over, and we had a big party. I couldn’t of asked for a better experience.

Strauss : Coming into the cowboys, how was it different being a kicker than another player that was drafted?

Folk : For the other guys, I’d want to say it’s harder, because they have to learn all the playbooks and all of the terminology. For me, it’s kick the ball in the air, and kick it through the uprights. It was a lot simpler for me to learn what I had to do. I just had to keep going from college. From college into the NFL, the big difference then was just kicking off from the thirty instead of the thirty-five. There was no difference as far as technique goes, field goal-wise, or kickoff-wise. For me, it was a pretty seamless transition. I had a great group of guys around me, with Matt McBriar, LB, Martin Gramatica, who was really good about me helping me out. I got to pick his brain a little bit, and I had a good time doing that. I ended up taking his spot at the end of camp, but I can’t say enough good things about Martin. He did a great job helping me.

Strauss : In the 2007, you set the franchise record for most points by a kicker for the Dallas Cowboys. Looking back on that year, how do you think that has shaped you throughout your career?

Folk : It was great! I was kind-of was a deer in headlights. I was just kind of looking around and trying to do my job and win as many games as I could. I ended up helping Dallas win a couple games. It was a lot of fun, and that’s the big thing I took from that. My rookie year was so much fun, so you have to remember that it’s still just a game, and having fun is the best way to play this game. I had a great time. We ended up going thirteen and three. We ended up losing in the divisional round to the eventual Super Bowl champions. We had a good time. We played very well and had a lot of fun.

Strauss : What was the Pro Bowl like your rookie year?

Folk : A lot of fun. Going to Hawaii is a good time anytime you can get it. I got my whole family out there. We had a great time doing that. It was a blast! I want to get back there as soon as I can.

Strauss : What was the transition like from the Cowboys to Jets?

Folk : It was pretty seamless. Training for football is just training for football. It wasn’t very hard. It’s just a different group of guys, but they are a great group of guys all around from everyone on the Jets to everyone on the Cowboys. I had a good time doing that. Hopefully we’ll get back together pretty soon.

Strauss : Mike Westhoff is known as one of the best Special Teams coaches in the NFL today. How has he helped you better your game?

Folk : Being around him, he pays attention to the fine detail. He’s been a true help there. He’s been able to point out little things that he seen. He’s been around a lot of great guys over the years, so it’s been pretty good to work with him, and a lot of fun.

Strauss : Could you take me through your game winning kick in the playoff wild-card game against the Colts?

Folk : I couldn’t tell you. I don’t remember much of it. I mean I remember Braylon catching the pass, that was about it. I also remember celebrating with Steve [Weatherford] afterwards for a little bit. The media took it over after that. I couldn’t tell you what happened between all that other stuff. I really didn’t pay much attention to it. I tried to block it all off. I think I did a pretty good job of it. I can recall it by watching it on T.V.

Strauss : By watching it on T.V., how did you feel?

Folk : I felt good. I felt like I hit the ball pretty well. I was pretty confident going in. I hit the ball solid, made good contact, and just tried to put it right through.

Strauss : I heard you recently had a charity event. Will you tell me a little bit about it?

Folk : We had a walk out for the Childhood Tumor Foundation. We went out with one of the local weatherman out here. They did a great job setting it all up. We raised close to 70,000 dollars, so it was a great weekend.

Strauss : If you had to describe yourself as an ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?

Folk : What ice cream flavor would I be? Mint Chocolate Chip because it’s my favorite.

Strauss : For someone who wants to play football in the NFL, what’s the best advice you can give them?

Folk : Just keep working. Keep working hard. Keep your head up no matter what. Have fun. It’s still just a game no matter what happens. The more fun you have the better off you’re going to be in the long run. Keep trying and keep working hard and have fun.

Strauss : Is there anything you want to tell your fans that we have not talked about?

Folk : Go to http://www.CTF.org and donate to a great cause if you would like. It’s a great cause for the Children’s Tumor Foundation. Donate to the kids in need. If you did that, that would be great.

Strauss : Thank you so much for your time Nick. I really appreciate it.

Folk : Alright. Thanks Max. We’ll talk soon.

Announcement : Thank you for listening to the interview with Nick Folk. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you leave your comments below as well! Please check out my website http://prointerviews.org/ for other interviews, “LIKE” the Facebook page at http://facebook.com/ProInterviews/, and follow me on twitter athttp://twitter.com/ProInterviews/. Please subscribe to me on YouTube at http://youtube.com/ProInterviews/ Thanks again for listening! Stay tuned for more, and feel free to contact me!

->Here are the personal questions Nick Folk answered.<-

Strauss : Who was your childhood star?

Folk : I grew up playing soccer, so I grew up a soccer fan first. I still watch a lot of soccer, and still pay attention to what’s going around the world. So, I’d have to say Pelé.

Strauss : Did you have a favorite NFL team while growing up?

Folk : I grew up in Los Angeles, so it was tough. We didn’t have any teams while I was growing up. It was right around the time when the Rams and the Raiders were leaving. It was a tough time to find a team that you could respect. I didn’t really have a team while I was growing up playing. I didn’t start playing football until I was in high school.

Strauss : What about a favorite soccer team?

Folk : Growing up, it was either Bayern Munich or Manchester United. I’m also a German citizen. I still root for the U.S. whenever they play, but Germany is more of a powerhouse, so if these two were to play, and Germany won, I wouldn’t necessarily be killed. I still root for the U.S., but if they end up losing to Germany, I’m not too worried about it.

Strauss : Do you speak German?

Folk : No, I don’t. My dad did not teach me while I was growing up. I wish.

Strauss : If you could meet anyone, who would it be and why?

Folk : That’s a tough question… I would love to meet Ben Franklin because he was one of the forefathers of this country. He did a lot to help get the United States on the map. He also did a lot in his scientific career to help the world learn about different stuff. He helped the world get to where we are today. I’d love to sit down with him, and see how he went about his thinking back then.

Strauss : What is your favorite movie of all time?

Folk : I have a few favorites. I really love Caddyshack. That’s up there for sure. I really enjoyed Gladiator. I’m also a Will Ferrell-guy so anything that he does is funny. It could be the a very stupid movie, but I would think it’s pretty funny.

Strauss : What is your favorite TV Show?

Folk : I again, have a few favorites. Entourage is definitely one of them. I just recently got into the show, Dexter. Obviously, Sports Center as well. I also like Iron Chef.

Strauss : What is your favorite type of pie?

Folk : French Silk Pie. One of my good buddy’s mom makes an awesome French Silk Pie.

Strauss : Thank you so much.

Folk : Thank you Max!

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