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Matt Gay Went From Attending His Nephews Soccer Match To Being Drafted Within The Blink Of An Eye

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Whether you are a Utah football fan or not, the chances are that you have heard of Matt Gay. The former University of Utah standout kicker now resides in Tampa Bay, Florida, kicking for the Buccaneers and enjoying life as an NFL superstar. His story as to how he ended up on the Buc’s, however, is unique.

Let’s go back to April 27th, 2019. Gay has just got home from his nephew’s soccer match and has turned on the final day of the 2019 NFL Draft. His wife, who hails from England, her entire family and his family snuggle up on the couch in Utah County. The fifth round had just begun.

“I was telling my wife that if I go undrafted, here are some teams that I think we should go to that I could win a job and that would fit our family, and I actually mentioned Tampa,” Gay said.

Ironically, when Gay’s wife’s family first moved from England to the States they lived in Tampa Bay, Florida for two years.

She immediately started searching for homes in Tampa Bay, hoping that her husband would land with the Bucs. A stentorian conversation between Gay’s family and his wife’s commenced, the excitement was building.

That is when Gay’s phone starts ringing. He notices that it is an 813 area code, the same area code for the City of Tampa.

Before he answers the phone he looks up at the television and realizes that “Tampa is two picks away.”

He was dumbfounded. Gay thinks he is going to sign with a team, if he signs at all, in the seventh-round at best, he could not fathom the thought of being drafted early in the fifth-round.

Amidst the chaos, while his family continues to discuss where they would like to live in the Tampa area, he secretly answers the phone.

“I start speaking very respectful, like I was not talking to a buddy, yes sir, thank you very much.”

His family starts realizing what is happening. “They start freaking out like where, where, where, where is he going? Who is it?”

Gay’s father, who originally predicted that his son would be drafted in the fifth-round, knew who he was on the phone to and started telling other family members that it was Tampa.

Fortunately, he was correct. Gay was taken in the fifth-round with the 145th pick of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Gay, his wife and their 7-month old baby boy Oliver, now live 5 minutes from where his wife’s family previously lived. It was a perfect landing spot for Gay and his beautiful little family.

Tom Hackett is a Utah and Real Salt Lake Insider for and host of the It’s Utah’s World Podcast (Utah Football themed) and The Lion’s Den Podcast (Real Salt Lake themed). Follow him on Twitter: @TomCantHackett.