Tucson Sugar Skulls

Sugar Skulls’ New Kicker Josh Gable Has Storied Past Despite Not Playing Football in College

Josh Gable is 28 years old with only a soccer background, playing professionally in Belgium and Italy, before making it a goal to be a placekicker in the NFL.

To this point, he has played in practically every pro league, except the NFL and the now-defunct Alliance of American Football. Last Saturday, he returned to the Indoor Football League, making one of two field goal attempts in the 72-54 loss against Quad Cities after his acquisition by the Tucson Sugar Skulls.

Earlier this month, he was kicking for the South team in The Spring League, a little-known developmental league and scouting event for professional football talent. One of his teammates in Austin: Johnny Manziel. It was Gable’s third year invited to The Spring League. Before that, Gable took part in the four-game schedule of Your Call Football, a semi-pro league that allows fans to make play calls.

Gable, from Kearney, Neb., started the calendar year taking part in a tryout with the Chicago Bears along with former Arizona placekicker Nick Folk (who ended up with the Arizona Hotshots of the AAF).

The New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts brought Gable in for a tryout in 2017. He reportedly made 29 of 30 field goal attempts with the Patriots, missing from only 65 yards. The former Nebraska Danger and Iowa Barnstormers kicker in the IFL was interviewed by ESPN SportsCenter during the Patriots’ camp, but he was a longshot to unseat veteran Stephen Gostkowski.

Representatives of 18 NFL teams and some CFL teams saw him kick in The Spring League.

He is now trying to make himself visible again in the IFL with Tucson, taking over the Sugar Skulls’ struggling kicking game. He made a field goal from 42 yards against Quad Cities but a 44-yard attempt was ruled no good when the ball hit high off the left upright and bounced back on the field.

The kick could have went at least 64 yards. That prompted the TV announcer to say, “Wow, that kid has a leg.”

Gable has been a buzz on social media with his kicks of 70 yards or longer on video, which he makes with regularity. This next video shows him going as far as 80 yards.

Gable had an unsuccessful 1-of-9 experience on field goals with Iowa last year, but he was part of the Barnstormers’ team that won the IFL’s United Bowl with Sugar Skulls coach Marcus Coleman the team’s defensive coordinator.

“I’m very accurate. I think I can become successful at this. I have a really good shot,” Gable said of placekicking to the Spring Forward Podcast last year. “There’s never been a moment that I’ve stepped on to the field when I’m called upon and I didn’t feel confident. That’s a very good feeling.”

Tucson Sugar Skulls kicker Josh Gable has toiled in various pro football leagues the last few years in his quest to land a job in the NFL (The Spring League photo)

On Saturday at 6 p.m., it will be a reunion for Coleman, Gable and others with the Barnstormers (6-1) visiting Tucson (3-4) at the Tucson Arena. Tucson offensive coordinator Hurtis Chinn was also Iowa’s receivers coach last season. Sugar Skulls linebacker standout Zach Allen was an All-IFL linebacker last year for the Barnstormers.

Chinn was the Nebraska Danger head coach when Gable kicked there two years ago.

Gable is also an accomplished artist with some of his work displayed on his Instagram page:

The Sugar Skulls are on a three-game losing streak but are still in contention for the sixth and last playoff spot in the standings with half of the season complete. They are tied for sixth with Quad Cities, who visits Tucson to end the regular season.

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