Former Washington kicker Erik Folk returned to his home city of Los Angeles this week to participate in the inaugural NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, a game showcasing the talents of draft eligible players. Folk, who comes from a family of kickers, is representing the National team in this weekend's game.
Folk was honored at the opportunity to represent in this game. "It's a great opportunity for us. It's a great game. It's the first year, so it's going to be exciting. It's just a really good opportunity for all the guys playing in it and it should be a good game to watch," he said.
The roster is stacked with talent from across the country and Folk has enjoyed the chance to meet those players. "It's fun; it's fun to meet guys from all over the country, guys from way different backgrounds than you. It's fun to get to know people from the east coast, from the south."
There were also a few names that stood out when Folk first learned what other players he'd be playing alongside. "Obviously all the people in the Pac-12, saw a lot of them from both my team and the other team. As far as the others, you have Jacory Harris, the quarterback from Miami, couple other guys, people I played against, too. The quarterback from Eastern Washington, Bo Levi Mitchell, and the center from Nebraska, Mike Caputo," he said. "You get to know them (players from rival teams), you look at them on the other sideline and you, kinda have that feeling of, uh, (laughs), hate in you. And then you get to know them and play with them, it's a lot more fun."
Folk, who is perhaps most famously recognized in the world of college football for kicking the game-winning field goal versus favorite USC in two consecutive seasons, introduced himself to the two Trojan players in the game, Brandon Carswell and Chris Galippo. "When I first introduced myself to them, I said my name to them and they're like 'oh, you' and I'm like 'yeah, I'm that guy!" (laughs)
Post-season, Folk has spent time preparing for the NFL Draft, including getting some tips from New York Jets kicker (and eldest brother) Nick Folk. "I've worked with him the past couple of weeks since he's been home and I was back home, too. I worked with him and he gave me a lot of tips and I've been working on those really hard," he said.
The best advice from Nick? "He was just helping me be more consistent, especially my steps; mostly technical stuff he's been working on with me."
The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl will be held on Saturday, January 21st at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, California.