As the Bengals prepare to take on the Rams in Super Bowl LVI, we take a look at one of the most underappreciated players on the team: the punter.
Most punters get signed to one team and play there for their entire careers, but Huber’s story dates all the way back to when he was born.
See, Huber was an O.G. Cincy fan. As O.G. as it gets. He was there before the young’uns like Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase ever walked the earth, much less touched a football.
Born and bred in Cincinnati, Huber stayed in-state for college, attending the University of Cincinnati where he played from 2004 to 2008. After walking on and redshirting his first season, Huber quickly developed into the school’s top punter. He collected back-to-back consensus All-America honors in 2007 and 2008, set the Bearcats’ record for the longest punt (69 yards), and was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2014.
In 2009, Huber entered the draft and was selected by none other than his hometown team, the Bengals.
And Huber never looked back.
Cincinnati Bengals punter Kevin Huber’s love for Cincy is eternal
Huber recently spoke to The Players Tribune about his Cincy rags-to-Bengals riches story, sharing a poignant anecdote about how he first landed on the team:
"On the second day of the draft, I booked a round of golf for me and some buddies. I didn’t want to sit there staring at the TV praying to see my name…I had my ringer on loud, you know, just in case. And on the 17th hole, a par 4, I got a call from Coach Simmons.“Hey, you wanna be a Cincinnati Bengal?”"
Since being drafted over a decade ago, Huber has tallied a team-high 215 career games with the franchise averaging 45.3 yards per punt and earning one Pro Bowl in 2014.
Huber’s love for Cincinnati knows no bounds, and he couldn’t be prouder of where he came from. He’s been with the Bengals in their darkest times, but all those trials and tribulations make the joys of the 2021 season extra special.
"That win against the Raiders? That was just the first step. If you’re from here, if you bleed orange and black — you know what that win really meant. You felt it deep in your soul. Because you’ve been here for the heartbreak, same as I have."
One city. 980 punts and counting. The game to win it all.
Everyone’s talking about how the Super Bowl will be Joe Burrow’s time to shine, but it’s also this Cincy kid’s moment to remember forever.
Of all the hometown heroes that have come out of Ohio, Kevin Huber’s name probably doesn’t crack the top-50. He still remains, as the corny saying goes, No. 1 in our hearts.