Marvin Kloss' message to Bucs: I live 3 minutes away
If by some slim chance the Bucs were to bring him in for another look-see, Marvin Kloss literally could walk to his interview.
"I actually live like, three minutes away from (Raymond James) Stadium," he said.
But one of the greatest kickers in USF history has learned enough about the NFL's inner workings to not hold his breath, though many are clamoring for the Bucs -- whose place-kicking deficiencies have become a national punchline -- to give the onetime Lou Groza Award finalist a shot.
"Young guys get signed in the offseason to compete against the incumbent," Kloss, who recently found a day job as a financial advisor, said in a text-message conversation Friday. "Other than that it's vets from here on out."
Like thousands of other bay area residents, Kloss watched incredulously as the Bucs' latest kicking debacle -- three missed field goals by Nick Folk -- unfolded in Thursday's 19-14 loss to the Patriots.
Less than two months before, Folk had been handed the job when 2016 second-round draftee Roberto Aguayo -- who beat out Kloss for the Lou Groza Award in 2013 -- was released after missing a field goal and extra point in the preseason opener.
"It's pretty frustrating seeing guys get paid millions to miss on the same uprights I was kicking through," Kloss said.
Few collegians cleared them as consistently as Kloss. Fact is, the 2013 Bulls -- who finished 2-10 -- would've gone winless without him.
That year, he led the nation with 11 field goals of 40 or more yards, and four of 50 more. His 44-yarder into the wind at Connecticut, with 4:03 to play, clinched a 13-10 triumph. During one dizzying stretch, he hit a school-record 13 field goals in a row, seven of which were from 47 or more yards.
By season's end, Coach Willie Taggart had dubbed him "Money" Kloss. In 2014, he finished 13-of-17 on field goals (hitting four of 40 or more yards), connected on all 23 of his PATs, and earned East-West Shrine Game MVP honors the following January at Tropicana Field with four more field goals.
He eventually worked out for several teams including the Bucs, who gave he and a handful of others a tryout in October 2015 after they released rookie Kyle Brindza. Kloss said he thought he out-performed Connor Barth, whom Tampa Bay ended up signing, at the tryout.
"They said I would get put on a futures deal come December, but that never happened," he said. "They really don't take into account that I probably have RayJay figured out the best. No one was hitting long-range field goals every single week."
Still, Kloss said he harbors no bitterness toward the organization, and hopes to make "a positive impact in the community one way or another." He's just a bit baffled.
So is a green-and-gold fan base.
"Timing plays a huge part in getting picked up," he said. "There's just so many variables that have to come together for someone in my shoes."