That is how Parker Shaunfield describes his mental and physical process for every one of his many kicks. The redshirt-junior out of Aledo, Texas, became Southern Miss' primary field goal specialist last season and made more than a favorable first impression.
It all started with a 31-yard field goal at Commonwealth Stadium against Kentucky for his first kick of the 2016 season, which at the time closed Southern Miss' deficit to 28-10. Then, a 49-yard kick in the fourth quarter, and one more from 25 in the final three minutes for good measure that gave his team a two-possession lead and capped off the game-ending, 34-point run.
For his perfection in the dramatic 44-35 win in Lexington, the rising star was named C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week. Shaunfield ultimately finished the season 12-for-14 on field goals and good on all 40 PAT attempts. Now, he enters the 2017 campaign on the Lou Groza Award watchlist, presented annually to the best kicker in college football.
He describes his journey to the gridiron in a matter-of-fact fashion.
"I grew up playing soccer my whole life," Shaunfield said. "I started playing football in fifth grade and kicking in seventh. It just took off from there. It's something I enjoyed and led me here."
Shaunfield eventually helped the powerful Bearcats to three football state titles in addition to earning All-State recognition in soccer. It was there that one of his friends helped convince him to become a Golden Eagle, despite him admitting he knew "absolutely nothing" about the school beforehand.
"We had a running back from Aledo, Daythan Davis, who was coming here," Shaunfield said. "He'd see me every day and say to come to Southern Miss with me, because he wanted someone to come with him. I joked with him and said I would, and it turned out that I got an offer, and thus is where I am now. It wasn't much of a recruiting process, but for a kicker to get a scholarship, it felt good."
That same familiarity that brought him to Hattiesburg is also how he approaches every kick on the practice field, The Rock or anywhere else in the country, no matter the stage.
"First and foremost, it's just being comfortable and confident back there in a game in front of thousands of people," he said. "It's working on that chemistry with your snapper and holder and trusting them and my technique will be there. I know I have the ability to do it, so I just need to do it."
Season tickets, flex plans, and group tickets for the 2017 Golden Eagle home season are still available and can be purchased by going online at SouthernMissTickets.com, by calling 1-800-844-TICK (8425) or by visiting the Pat Ferlise Ticket Office, weekdays, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Discounts are available for Southern Miss faculty and staff, senior citizens, military personnel, and recent Southern Miss graduates. The Golden Eagles open the 2017 season at home on Saturday, Sept. 2, at 3 p.m. against SEC opponent Kentucky.