ORONO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- If you ask Saco native Brandon Briggs, he'll tell you trading in his soccer ball for a football is the best decision he ever made.
Briggs joined the Thornton Academy Gold Trojans as a kicker his junior year of high school. By his senior, he was a state champions, helping TA win it all 2012— the team's first state title in 24 years.
When it came time to head to college, Briggs had other plans.
"I thought football would take over my time and my mom said focus on your education," say Briggs.
That's what he did for a good portion of his college career. It wasn't until his fourth academic year as a Black Bear that he decided to try his hand, and his foot, at making the Maine football team.
"We had a September random walk on tryout," says Umaine football head coach Joe Harasymiak. "We do it every year, and he was one of those guys."
"I just gave it a shot," say Briggs. "I said, 'I've got nothing to lose,' and now I've got everything to lose."
This year's stats back that. Last week, Briggs received the CAA Special Teams Player of the Week award after hitting all three of his field goal attempts in is team's 23-6 win over William & Mary, including a career-long 43 yard make. Briggs currently ranks third in the CAA in field goal percentage at 80 percent.
Harasymiak says he's also made a big impact when it comes to kickoffs. Going into Saturday's game against Delaware at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland, he says Briggs had notched 17 touchbacks.
"If you look back over the last five or six years, I don't think we have 17 touchbacks total over those years," says says Harasymiak. "It's something that's given our defense a chance to play well."
Briggs is in his fifth academic year at Maine, but doesn't plan to leave campus anytime soon.
"Hey, who knows," says Briggs."I still may have two years of eligibility left!"
Better late than never.
"He was probably in some frat house somewhere hanging out," says says Harasymiak. "And now, he's our kicker."