Steve Weatherford


Steve Weatherford

Infobox NFLactive


currentteam=New Orleans Saints
currentnumber=7
currentpositionplain=Punter
birthdate=birth date and age|1982|12|17
birthplace=Crown Point, Indiana
heightft=6
heightin=3
weight=215
debutyear=2006
debutteam=New Orleans Saints
college=Illinois
undraftedyear=2006
pastteams=
* New Orleans Saints (2006-present)
statweek=17
statseason=2007
statlabel1=Punts
statvalue1=140
statlabel2=Punt Yards
statvalue2=6,126
statlabel3=Punting Yard Average
statvalue3=43.8
nfl=WEA126153

Steve Weatherford (born December 17, 1982 in Crown Point, Indiana) is an American football punter who currently plays for the National Football League's New Orleans Saints. He played college football for the University of Illinois.

High School Years

Weatherford attended Terre Haute North Vigo High School in Terre Haute, Indiana, where he played punter, kicker and safety on the football team. As a punter, he set records for the most field goals in a career, longest punting average and longest field made (55 yards vs. Lawrence North High School). He averaged 45.4 yards per punt and held a 4.26 second hangtime average. As a kicker, Weatherford made 37 of 40 extra point attempts and connected on seven field goals from 40 yards or longer. He was named to the All-Conference team and earned All-State honors as a kicker twice consecutively. As a safety, Weatherford managed two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.

Weatherford also played soccer, track and basketball, earning a total of thirteen varsity letters in his high school career. He was an All-County forward in soccer, and an All-State track team member three times. He also set a Junior Olympics record in the 4x800 meters relay. He also set a school record in the 300-meter hurdles (39.34 seconds).

College Years

Entering the University of Illinois in 2001, Weatherford redshirted his freshman year. He was named the starter in 2002, averaging 39.7 yards on 23 punts.

In 2003, Weatherford was an Honorable Mention All-Big Ten Conference selection. Weatherford averaged 44.5 yards on 43 punts, breaking the school record held by Dike Eddleman since 1948 (43.0 yards per punt). This placed Weatherford at second in the Big Ten and 12th in the nation in punting average. He was also named the school's Special Teams player of the Year.

In 2004, Weatherford earned First-team All-Big Ten honors from the Coaches and Second-team honors from the media. "Sports Illustrated" named him the Most Underrated Player in the Big Ten. He finished second in the Big Ten in punting average, again, and fourth nationally. Weatherford wracked up 45.4 yards per punt on 57 attempts, breaking the record he set the previous season. He was a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award. He also scored a touchdown on a fake field goal against Northwestern on November 20, 2004. [cite web|url=http://fightingillini.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/weatherford_steve00.html|title=Player Biography: Steve Weatherford (University of Illinois)]

In his senior season in 2005, Weatherford punted 64 times for a per punt average of 42.8 yards. Weatherford finished his collegiate career as the school's all-time leader in career punting average, with a career average of 43.6 yards per punt.

2006 NFL Season

He was signed as an undrafted free agent on April 20, 2006 by New Orleans. Weatherford was released by New Orleans on September 2 only to be re-signed on September 5, 2006.

Steve Weatherford played in all 16 games for the New Orleans Saints, punting 77 times for an average of 43.8 yards per punt, which ranked 15th in the NFL. He had a season-long of 59 yards, and 19 of his punts were inside the 20-yard line. Weatherford also recorded two solo tackles and a 15 yard rush for a first down.

2008 NFL Season

Infamously seen wearing a wedding ring and a wrist watch as the holder during Martin Gramatica's missed field goal on 9/21/2008 [cite web|url=http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/0809/nfl.week3.photos/content.11.html|title=Weatherford wearing Wrist Watch and Wedding ring during an NFL game. ]

References

External links

* [http://www.neworleanssaints.com/playerbio.cfm?playerid=361 New Orleans Saints bio]


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