By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com April 23 2013 2:42 PM ET
A gay former college football placekicker said was ready to return to football after a brief haitus from the game and a difficult senior year that stopped his surefire momentum into the NFL.
Alan Gendreau, 23, graduated from Middle Tennessee State University and tried out for the NFL last year. He went undrafted after what he said was a "half-assed" tryout at the 2012 combine, according to Outsports. Currently Gendreau is a free agent without a team for this year's draft, but he has plans to train in preparation for tryouts next year.
With his college record, Gendreau has a decent shot — he entered MTSU on a scholarship, and in his first season was ranked second on his team in scoring, connecting on 10 of 14 field goal attempts, and tied the school record with eight consecutive successful field goal attempts, Outsports reports. During his next two seasons, he maintained an 82% conversion rate and was named a national semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, honoring college football's top placekickers. His senior year, Gendreau hit heavy offense due to a breakdown in his team's defensive line. He ended his senior season going seven for nine but found it difficult to recover from a one-for-five start in the first three games that year. At the time of the 2012 NFL draft, Gendreau was deemed a middle-of-the-pack kicker, but he was ready to walk away from football at that point.
All the while, Gendreau was out to his teammates, who seemed not to care that he is gay. His holder and team punter Josh Davis said that even though MTSU had many religious students, including some of their teammates, he did not recall ever hearing anyone disparage Gendreau for his sexual orientation.
"Everyone just saw him as a football player," Davis said. "He was just one of the guys. The fact that he proved himself on the field, there was a respect for him. He's a good guy. He's a lot of fun to be around. With all the coaches and players, he had a good relationship."
Watch an interview with Gendreau and Outsports' Cyd Zeigler below: