The Kicker


    Sipping on his Frappuccino with tri-
    ple whipped cream and cinnamon top-
    ping he charmed out of the Starbucks
    baristas, Drew Combs taps along to the
    beat of the music in the bookstore café,
    casually commenting that he should
    have been a drummer.
    Combs, born with a left arm that
    ends below the elbow, is a kicker for
    the Texas Christian University football
    team. He earned the kickoff position
    during the summer and was also the
    backup field goal kicker this season.
    Now, he has his sights set on the field
    goal position.
    “I set really high goals for myself,
    and I like to put things down on paper
    to focus on them,” he said. “I might
    not be the best guy out there, but I
    want to succeed and I want to meet
    my goals.”
    Combs, a 22-year-old business
    marketing major from Houston, has
    played football since seventh grade.
    Over the years, he has also played
    basketball, track and field, baseball,
    soccer and golf.
    As a child, Combs looked to base-
    ball pitcher Jim Abbott for inspiration.
    Abbott, who also has only one hand,
    played in the major leagues and won
    an Olympic gold medal.
    Like Abbott, Combs does not allow
    only having one hand hinder him in
    any way.
    “If it ever was difficult, you just
    have to overcome it,” he said. “That’s
    life, and I’m the type of person
    where if you want to try to hold me
    down, I’m gonna get back up and I’ll
    be twice as fierce as anyone you’ve
    ever seen.”
    Combs played football for the Uni-
    versity of Arkansas after he graduated
    from high school, but left Fayetteville
    for Fort Worth after the fall of 2005.
    Combs spoke with Dan Sharp,
    TCU’s tight end and special teams
    coach, and told him he wanted to be
    a walk-on at TCU.
    “Coach Sharp said you don’t need
    no arm to kick a ball. It’s one of the
    major reasons why I came here,”
    Combs said.
    Combs was recently rewarded for
    his work ethic by being selected as
    a member of Mark May’s All-Mayday
    Team, which honors college football
    players who have overcome obstacles
    in their life. The players are chosen for
    the mental and physical strength they
    show both on and off the field.
    “It’s definitely a huge honor,” he
    said. “I don’t know if I’m deserving.
    There are a lot of other people out
    there who’ve gone through so much
    Combs’ talents extend far beyond
    the football field.
    He has played guitar for more than
    eight years, and has written 40 to 50
    songs. When he’s not strumming Third
    Eye Blind songs, Combs can be found
    mountain biking around Lake Worth.
    Combs does not let anything stop
    him from accomplishing what he sets
    his mind to.
    “Drew refuses to take any grief
    about his arm. His attitude is if you
    can do it, then he can,” said Kev-
    in Sharples, a sophomore business
    major and fellow kicker on the foot-
    ball team. “If anyone has any doubts
    about his ability, I challenge them to
    play him in basketball or catch with
    a football.”
    Combs, who plans to graduate in
    May 2009, is not sure what he wants
    to do after college, but is considering
    law school or getting a private pilot
    “I just want to be a good father, like
    my dad was for me,” he said. “I don’t
    necessarily have to make the most
    money, I just want to love what I do
    for a living.”
    Drew Combs cooks up lemon chicken in his apartment. In addition to cooking and playing guitar, Drew is kicker for the football team.