The Jets are holding kicker tryouts on Tuesday after Kaare Vedvik’s lackluster performance on Sunday. The tryout is, as they usually are in the NFL, invite-only, but a 30-year-old New Jersey native is hoping to weasel his way in there and earn a shot.
Josh Henshaw from Cherry Hill stood outside the Jets’ practice facility Tuesday morning, just hoping the Jets will let him show what he can do. He even took a red-eye flight from Utah to make sure he was there in time.
After calling in to WFAN’s “Boomer & Gio” morning show, he definitely has a better chance of receiving an opportunity. Co-host Boomer Esiason typed out a text to Jets head coach Adam Gase live on the air asking Gase to humor Henshaw.
“A guy just called our show who is a kicker who kicked in college and semi-pro,” Esiason wrote to Gase. “He’s standing outside of your facility with a sign. He took a red-eye from Salt Lake. He just wants a shot. You can check him out on YouTube, as we did, at Josh Henshaw Kicks. Seems like a pretty solid dude chasing a dream. May end up being a great story.”
Henshaw told WFAN that he decided to fly from Salt Lake City to New York after a Jets fan friend of his sent him an article about the Jets holding tryouts. The friend thought the audition was open to anyone. It’s not, of course, but that didn’t discourage Henshaw.
“I took a look into it, saw they weren’t open,” he said on the radio show. “I booked the next flight, a red-eye from Salt Lake City. Left at 8:30 last night and landed at 5:30 this morning at Newark. And now I’m here.”
He even called to tell the Jets he was coming.
“I put a call in to the front office and just said that I’m going to be showing up and hopefully you guys will let me in,” Henshaw told Boomer and Gio. “I have the ability and I want to showcase it because I can compete for the starting spot.”
Henshaw was still standing outside the facility when the news came down that the Jets had decided to sign Sam Ficken to replace Vedvik. That was at about 2:30 p.m. ET. He’d been there since 6:30 a.m.
After failing to latch on with the Jets, Henshaw had to fly back to Utah later on Tuesday. He had to get back to work as a financial advisor at Raymond James, he told SI.com. But he’s not admitting defeat.
“I will keep practicing and keep trying with the other 31 teams in the league if reports on the Jets hold true,” he told SI.com.
While he’s never attracted the attention of NFL teams (and still hasn’t), Henshaw does have some decent kicking experience.
Henshaw says he kicked at Lackawanna College, a juco in Scranton, as well as for the club team at the University of Vermont. He claims to have passed up offers from the University of Utah and UMass to go to Vermont, where he was also a javelin thrower because it was his grandfather’s alma mater. Since graduating from college, he’s kicked in a variety of semi-pro leagues, most recently with the Tri-County Owls of the ironically named Major League Football.
In a YouTube video in which he boldly declares himself an “NFL prospect,” Henshaw can be seen kicking 70-yard field goals off of a tee.
He also has some game highlights from his time with the Owls where he drills some field goals and booms some kickoffs.
Henshaw realizes the odds are slim, but he’s holding out hope he can become the ultimate underdog story.
“We’ll make a Disney movie out of this,” he told the hosts.