The Evolution Of ‘Murderleg’

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Florida

Carey Spear hadn’t heard the nickname until last week.

“From what I was told, it was written in a blog somewhere,” old Murderleg told Birds 24/7 Wednesday. “And it was pretty humorous hearing that and seeing how the city just kind of rallied around that nickname a little bit. So I never heard it at Vanderbilt.”


The Vanderbilt blog Anchor Of Gold came up with the nickname. We linked to it here, and so did some other sites. Now it sounds like Murderleg could end up sticking.

"Some guys [teammates] chirp about it, and I tell them, ‘Hey I never heard that in college, but whatever.’" Spear said. "Nicknames are nicknames, but I’m not focused on that. I’m focused on being the best player I can be, the best teammate I can be."

Spear first surfaced on the Eagles' radar in late February. Special teams coach Dave Fipp traveled to Vanderbilt to work him out and interview him. On the Saturday of draft weekend, Fipp was the one who made the call to let Spear know the Eagles wanted to add him as a priority free agent. He's now spending his days at the NovaCare Complex with a chance at beating out Alex Henery.

That competition will be based on how each guy performs on field goals and kickoffs this summer. But there's no ignoring the other aspect of Spear's game: flying down the field on coverage and leveling unsuspecting return men.

Take this example against Missouri:

Per Anchor of Gold, Spear got clipped on an extra point. He then stared down return man T.J. Moe, pointed at him and took him out.

Spear, however, said that version of the story is a bit fabricated.

"That’s noise," he said. "Just trying to buy in, do my job as a football player, not a kicker. Filling that hole when it needs to be filled. It might be nine times out of 10 I don’t make that tackle, but you go all in for one play. You try and do your best. You might get a guy with a solid hit the next play. So maybe got lucky there."

What about the pointing?

“That’s part of my pre-kick routine for kickoffs," he added. "So whether that gets the guy going or not, that’s up to him. But just trying to stay consistent with everything."

Spear is clearly a bit uncomfortable with the amount of attention he's received since the Eagles signed him, but he takes pride in making those tackles as a part of the return team.

"It just comes from buying into the process, understanding that if you want to be on the team, you’ve gotta be willing to sacrifice," he said. "Whether that’s time being social or whether that’s your body on the field, that’s something that I’ve really tried to buy into. It’s not trying to stand out necessarily, moreso just trying to buy in, being all in with the team, being the best Eagle I can be. Knowing that you kick the ball off, inevitably, someone’s gonna return it at some point. You’ve gotta be a football player."

As for his work as a kicker, Spear knows he has work to do - both in terms of strength and accuracy. The blog Bird Breakdown did an in-depth breakdown, showing Henery was clearly the superior prospect.

But the Eagles have said all offseason that they wanted competition at the kicker spot.

So for now, Murderleg will look to seize the opportunity.

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  • Myke Lowery

    interesting read…he had a heart condition that had to be corrected. http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/78094/vanderbilt-near-and-dear-to-spears-heart

    • Jerry Pomroy

      Well there’s no denying the kid’s got heart.

      • damrvrhunter

        Am still lolling, you sir win the internetz for the day!

  • PaoliBulldog

    I wonder how much the Eagles took into account this guy’s kick coverage ability when they signed him. Most returns are really 11 on 10, so having a kicker who can cover is a plus. But is it enough to unseat Henery, who on paper kicks the ball better?

  • Glenn

    Love the nickname. Love the fact he is a kicker that hits like a safety. Would love to get someone to replace Henery. Let’s give Kickalicious a tryout, and have both of these guys to duke it out!

  • Jerry Pomroy

    Murderleg

  • Maggie

    Sounds like the guy is a little more realistic than some fans. He understands that sometimes you’re going to get beat. Poor grammar, yes.

    • Andy124

      murderleg

  • Andy124

    What he said:

    It just comes from buying into the process, understanding that if you want to be on the team, you’ve gotta be willing to sacrifice

    What I heard:

    Murderleg Murderleg Murderleg. Murderleg, Murderleg. Murderleg Murderleg muuuuurrdeeerrrrrleeegggg.

  • EaglefaninAZ

    If he ever makes it on the field at the Linc, and does that just once, his status as a fan favorite will be sealed. Place will go nuts.

    • Jerry Pomroy

      Maybe that’s the strategy behind it. Kid would be beloved just like Ron Hextall. A goalie that fights and scores goals. A kicker that decleats returners.

      • Eagles1018

        Still wanna see him kick into the friggin end zone. I found 2 vids of him and both were great hits on return men. So that’s awesome but it won’t happen that way more times than it will. How about our Kicker saves himself from potentially getting a concussion by kicking the ball into the end zone. Or if Henery can finally gain some leg strength I’d be happy. Weren’t we last or like 30 something in touch backs? I mean a good kicker is less emphasis on building a 53 man roster and using those spots on priority special teamers, no?

        • peteike

          Boooo, no fun

          • Eagles1018

            Lol true…but I want him to kick all season not just be out after he lays himself out attempting to derail a guy that puts his hat on his hat at full speed. Because THEN Alex Henery will be brought back…..

          • peteike

            fair enough or then they bring in Kickalicous off the street. Wish we had 3 kickers in to compete

        • paul from nc

          Stats say avg kickoff is 60.4 yds. Means it comes down on the 4 yd line. God help us if that’s our kicker.
          With our offense, and defense, I’m more concerned with deep kickoffs, than a few % points difference in accuracy.

          • Eagles1018

            I agree. We know CK will be like 4th and goal on the 9? Call the kicker back were going for it. Just put the ball 5 yards deep in the end zone and help STeamers keep guys deep even if they wanna run.

      • Bart

        Haxtall!

        • Andy124

          murdermask

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            and now he’s murderGM!!!! iloveyouphilly

    • paul from nc

      He’d be a bigger fan favorite if he just kicked it out of the endzone.

  • Will

    How’d Coach Fipp miss kickailious?

    • Andy124

      How he keeps his job without frequenting our comments is beyond me. ;)

      • Will

        And we wonder why the Eagles watch the Super Bowl instead of play in them…

    • paul from nc

      Between Murderleg and Braman, it should be an interesting camp.

      Why does Murderleg come up as misspelling? Don’t they know who he is?

  • daggolden

    That would be great to sign this guy so he can go downfield in the 1st quarter and get hurt making a tackle when he gets run over then our punter can kickoff and attempt fg the rest of the game.

    • borntosuffer

      Yea, I was thinking a little bit of the same thing. One tackle I saw him make he got up woozy and definitely would have been going though the concussion protocol.

      • paul from nc

        That’s because it was helmet to helmet. Add an extra 15 and they start near midfield.

    • paul from nc

      Maybe Nate Allen will knock him out on the kickoff.

  • TheCatalyst

    Murderleg

  • DetmerWonAHeisman

    If you can kick the football out of the back of the end zone, you won’t HAVE to fly down the field and throw your body at someone…..just sayin……. I’d rather have the kicker that kicks off and just turns and jogs to the sideline because he knows the kick is out of the back of the end zone. Let’s sign THAT guy and come up with a cool nickname for him.

    • Maggie

      Mr. Consistent? Mr. Everyman?(Just doing the job I’m getting paid for)
      Heart’s Afire? Flaming Legs? Boot Scootin’?

    • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

      “Hit It and Quit It”

      • DetmerWonAHeisman

        I like all those names listed above and below….how about “LaunchLeg”? Anyway, didn’t someone on this site volunteer to go on a scouting trip to South America and bring back a bunch of soccer players that would have a 100% touchback rate? We’ve got to get moving on that……..

        • paul from nc

          How about “Broken leg” or “Broken neck”?

    • Warhound

      Leginator?

  • MattE

    Donnie Football and MuderLeg are going to have cheering sections.

  • UKEagle99

    Having seen a couple of vids of his tackling I think Homicideleg is more appropriate, sorry. It’s great in the offseason to see your kicker flying down the field and laying the wood on the oppositions returner. It sets a tone, sure. Unfortunately I want my kicker to be called muderleg because he kicks it through the uprights on kickoffs. This guy looks like Alex Henery with 15 yards tacked on.

    Prove me wrong.

    PS Is Vanderbilt the new Oregon? We’ve signed more than one of their players, give it 5 mins and the National Media will be on the Chip to Vanderbilt bandwagon, we just need Derek Mason to be fired.

  • paul from nc

    “knowing that you kick the ball off, inevitably, somebody’s going to return it”

    That;s the problem right there. We need somebody that can get touch backs and just walk to the bench.

  • DoctorRick

    Not a lot of transparency around choosing kickers. I hope we get or got the BKA (Best Kicker Available) and feel that we got the Best Kamikaze Available, not sure that is the same thing. I would like to see receivers buried in the endzone time and again, oh, yeah, and consistent 40 yard FGs. I do not want to see the young man with a series of concussions.
    I wonder what the coaches see that we don’t?

  • Brian Zee

    I love this guys highlights. But after the fun of it dies down, you reminded that the hits happen because hi kick offs don’t reach the end zone. This guy is not real competition for Henrey aside for the competition for our hearts.

  • Mark F

    Dude…Murderleg is like, the most awesome nickname EVER!

  • Woody7236

    Kick it out of the end zone and you don’t have to tackle anybody.