Former Tiger Stephen Gostkowski Selected to the NFL Pro Bowl
Dec. 16, 2008
Former University of Memphis football and baseball letterwinner Stephen Gostkowski was voted to the NFL Pro Bowl on Tuesday earning a spot as the placekicker on the AFC squad.
The Pro Bowl selection is the first for Gostkowski who is in his third season with the New England Patriots. He is the fourth Patriots kicker to be named to the Pro Bowl since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, joining Adam Vinatieri (2002, 2004), Tony Franklin (1986) and John Smith (1980). He is the first former Memphis player to be voted to the Pro Bowl since wide receiver Isaac Bruce earned his fourth invitation in 2002.
Gostkowski has converted 30-of-33 field goals (90.9 percent) in 2008 and has hit all 34 of his extra point tries for a total of 124 points. His 30 successful field goals are tied for the most in the NFL and stand two shy of the Patriots' single-season record of 32 (Tony Franklin, 1986) with two games to play. Gostkowski's 90.9 percent accuracy rate leads the AFC and stands as the second highest in franchise history behind Adam Vinatieri's record of 94.9 percent in 2004.
Gostkowski's 124 points lead the AFC and rank second in the NFL, while his 16 touchbacks are a career-high and rank fourth in the AFC. He is on pace for 142 points this season - a total that would set a post-merger Patriots record. He is the Patriot's all-time leader in field goal percentage, having connected on 85.5 percent of his kicks (71-for-83) since being selected in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. Gostkowski was named the AFC's Special Teams Player of the Month for October 2008.
Gostkowski kicked for the Memphis Tigers from 2002-05 and holds the school career record for most points kicking (369), most PATs made (159), most field goals made (70) and is second in highest field goal percentage (76.1 - 70-for-92). He also holds single season records for most PATs made (48, 2004), most field goals attempted (29, 2003) and most points kicking (108, 2004).
The Madison, Miss., native also lettered four years as a pitcher on the Memphis baseball team and was a Conference USA All-Freshman selection in 2003.
The 2009 Pro Bowl will take place at Aloha Stadium in Hololulu, Hawaii, on February 8, 2009 at 3:30 p.m. (CST) on NBC.