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Ex-Racer gets kicks from acting

Ex-Racer gets kicks from acting

Posted: Friday, October 14, 2011 12:02 pm

Former Murray State football player Paul Hickert, well known for kicking the longest field goal in program history, will be appearing this fall on the small screen and the big screen.
 Hickert will appear on the ABC daytime drama “One Life To Live” (Oct. 17) and in the motion picture “Tower Heist” (Nov. 4) starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy.
 As a player, Hickert was part of the Racers’ 1986 Ohio Valley Conference championship team under head coach Frank Beamer.
In his senior season, 1987, Hickert was named All-Ohio Valley Conference. He still holds the Murray State record for the longest field goal, a 62-yard boot as the first half expired in 1986 at Roy Stewart Stadium against Eastern Kentucky.
“When I came to MSU, I wasn’t an accurate kicker, but I had a good leg,” Hickert said during a phone interview from his home in New York City. “Coach Beamer always gave me scenarios to stress the positive. He always made me feel I had control over the situation. That’s the way it is in acting, you have to believe you have control.”
Hickert was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1988 National Football League draft. His stay was short as he was cut before the first practice.
 “In the NFL, I felt like I had no control, but maybe that was because of the contract process,” Hickert said. “That experience damaged my confidence for a while, because I never got the chance to show what I could do.”
The very fact that Hickert is pursuing an acting career is a bit surprising, given the fact that when he played football for the Racers, he was an honor student with a degree in physics.
He has worked in private business as an engineer and consultant. He also has a patented invention, one that prohibits oxidation of wine in a bottle. Hickert also did some print modeling and that led to him pursuing an acting career.
His starting point was the time he spent at Murray State.
“Murray was magical for me and the place changed my life,” he said. “Coach Beamer, assistant coaches, teammates, the town and university, it all was great for me. Murray was great training ground for me. It’s such a great place to develop, and I don’t think I could’ve accomplished what I have in my career from any other place.”
In the comedy “Tower Heist”, Hickert plays an FBI agent in his big screen debut. The story is about a group of good men who get swindled by a wealthy businessman, so they decide to rob the man’s penthouse home.
“Tower Heist is a fun film, it has a huge cast of characters like Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, Alan Alda and Tea Leoni. I have a small role, I play a part in a group of FBI agents. I only have five lines, but we spent about a week doing the scenes. This film has a large budget, and when that kind of money is going into a project, it’s going to get attention.
For this former Racer, his experiences playing football for Murray State are never far from his thoughts.
“Acting is a lot like football…what you put into it is what you get out of it on game day,” Hickert said. “There have been so many great kickers come through MSU after me. Since I left I think all of my records have been broken except two and that’s what’s great about the records I set, those were goals for the next guy to obtain.”
Going into Saturday’s homecoming game, current kicker Kienan Cullen is tied with Hickert for the MSU career made field goals record of 49. Published in The WCP 10.13.11

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