Former USF kicker Marvin Kloss refused to find a full-time job. Staying with friends, former teammates and his parents, he refused to entertain the idea that his aspiration of kicking in the NFL was fading away.
That dream might become reality today as Kloss gets to try out for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ vacant starting job.
“It would be an amazing opportunity,” Kloss told The Oracle on Monday night. “Kicking in Tampa is a privilege. Here you have the beautiful sunshine and maybe a little rain on a bad day but, as far as kicking goes, you can’t ask for anything better.”
Kloss said he will join four or five veterans at One Buc Place this morning for a shot at a position the Bucs have had plenty of turnover at the last two seasons.
Connor Barth held the starting job for four seasons, but was cut last year for the younger —and less expensive — option of Patrick Murray after Barth tore his Achilles tendon during a charity basketball game in the offseason. Rookie Kyle Brindza won the job this season after being acquired in a trade from the Detroit Lions, but was released Monday after missing five field goals and two extra points in four games.
Kloss made 31 of 40 field goals in his career with Bulls, including four of 50 yards or longer. He also set a program record, making 13 straight field goals in 2014 and was one of three finalists for the coveted 2013 Lou Groza Award.
“I hope they would take that into account,” Kloss said of his experience kicking at Raymond James Stadium with USF. “As far as wind patterns, direction and any sort of behind the scenes kicks that you can get, you have to get them by kicking in that stadium.
“Out of everyone that’s getting brought in (today), I would have the most games under my belt at Ray Jay. So, hopefully they take that into consideration. But it all comes down to how you perform.”
This will be Kloss’ second chance at making an NFL roster. The Cleveland Browns signed him to a tryout deal as an undrafted free agent in May.
Kloss said he initially felt it was a “good situation” in terms of competing and outright winning the starting job, but soon found the Browns had other plans.
“It was a little bit of a sticky situation,” Kloss said. “I was a little misinformed of what I was going to be walking into.
“I was there for mini camp and a couple days after, but they just said that it was a numbers situation and that they weren’t going to bring three guys all the way through camp and they were going to stick with the two guys they had under contract.”
Now, Kloss hopes to make the most of his latest opportunity with Tampa Bay, a team he worked out for prior to the draft in April.
Since graduating, Kloss has been a self-described nomad, even stopping in with his parents from time to time, trying to stay in shape and keep busy while not kicking for a professional team.
Kloss said he’s also been fortunate enough to stay with former USF teammates Julius Forte and Anthony Hill in the Bay Area to keep close to his ties at USF and use its facilities to stay in football shape.
In his spare time, Kloss has been coaching young kickers in his native Naples, but has no current plans of pursuing long-term employment outside the NFL.
“I don’t refuse the work, but I refuse to get a full-time job because, mentally, that almost feels like you’ve given up and stopped chasing the dream,” Kloss said. “Unless I’m super, super desperate, I’m probably not going to pursue the working field just yet.”