TFO: As a young man what sports did you play growing up?
Danny: Growing up I was very competitive and loved playing any sport. I started out doing it all.. soccer, baseball, basketball, football, any kind of game and I was all over it. In high school I played football, basketball, and ran track.
TFO: Who was your inspiration growing up in sports?
Danny: Both my father and my grandfather were my main inspirations. My father played football for Syracuse and my grandfather played quarterback at Temple and was a head high school football coach in Pennsylvania.
TFO: What was your favorite memory from a game at the University of Arizona?
Danny: My senior year I felt I made the biggest impact and contributed to the the team the most when we played at USC in front of 110,000 people. We didn’t end up winning the game but I feel the punt unit kept us in a close game until the end. Four punts were pinned inside the 5 yard line making it a very long field for the USC offense to score. Also, Reggie Bush arguably the best punt returner in the nation at the time was a non factor.
TFO: You have been on several NFL teams. Can you tell your fans what your ‘welcome to the NFL’ moment was?
Danny: In 2007 when playing for the New England Patriots we played a game in literally a monsoon. The weather was so bad both teams barely warmed up and I didn’t get a punt off in pregame. There was a strong chance the game would be delayed but when the scheduled kickoff came around the storm let up just enough to play. On my first punt attempt of the night which happened to be the first punt of the game I sailed the ball over the returners head and ended up with a 70 yard punt. The crowd went wild and from then on I felt like I belonged in professional football.
TFO: You are part of history being drafted in the first UFL draft. Can you explain to us as fans what that feels like?
Danny: It was always a dream of mine to be drafted into professional football. I was coming off an injury my senior year in college and didn’t end up getting drafted into the NFL. Being drafted in the UFL fulfilled one of my dreams and I am very honored to this day. To be a part of history is also something that is very special to me.
TFO: With the UFL being a fairly new football league what would you say to fans that are still unsure about coming out to a game?
Danny: Every fan that I have had a chance to talk to has been completely pumped up about there experience at a UFL game. They are shocked of how similar it is in terms of level of play to an NFL game for a fraction of the price. They also enjoy the tailgating and atmosphere of a real pro game. Also, your in for a great show as last season there were a ton of close and exciting games.
TFO: You are a two time champion in the UFL. What is it going to take for the Locos’ to win a third championship this year?
Danny: Seeing that we have won two in a row everybody is going to be gunning for us. We have to come out and prepare each game like it is the championship game. A three peat in football has to be one of the rarest accomplishments and I believe if we get better each week we will control our own destiny.
TFO: As a player on the Locos’ tell us fans what makes Coach Fassel so special as a coach.
Danny: The reason why we have been so successful is coach Fassel’s ability to bring the team together. He was a quarterback as a player and knows how to create a team environment were guys bond together as a unit and there is a cohesiveness on the field. I also think he has great instinct on where guys are and what they need to do in regards for game preparation.
TFO: If there was one thing you would want your fans to know about you that I have not asked you here what would it be?
Danny: By preparing diligently for a three-peat I have also been substitute teaching and coaching at numerous football camps. Also, I am not the stereotypical punter and consider myself an athlete first and punter second.
I want to thank Danny for taking the time to answer a few questions for our sports blog. Danny is an exceptional young man. When I spoke to him on our Radio Show you could hear the passion and dedication to the game of football and to the Las Vegas Locos‘ in his voice. He is ready for a 3Peat! At the end of the interview I promised Danny I would never call Danny just a punter again. So this is for you Danny. DANNY BAUGHER IS A GREAT ATHLETE! HE IS NOT ‘JUST A PUNTER‘! Thanks again Danny!