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Younghoe Koo: Asian Menswear Spotlight Series


Younghoe Koo is a professional football placekicker for the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL. He is one of four players in the league to be born in South Korea in NFL history.⁣⁣⁣

Koo was born on August 3, 1994, in Seoul, South Korea. However, he moved to New Jersey to live with his mother when he was in the 6th grade. His father stayed back where he remained as a university professor in Seoul.⁣⁣⁣
During his college years, Koo played for the Georgia Southern Eagles. He was the first kicker from the school to be named as a finalist for the Lou Groza Award. 
At the end of his college football career, Koo set a new record for hitting 31/35 (88.6%), making it the highest career field goal percentage in school history. He also received All-Sun Belt Conference honors before graduating.⁣⁣⁣
After going undrafted in the 2017 NFL Draft, Koo was fortunately picked up by the Los Angeles Charges. He won the position over then-incumbent kicker Josh Lambo after the end of the preseason; however, he was let go after only four games and replaced by veteran kicker Nick Novak. In January 2019, he signed with the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football (AAF). He scored his first point in the AAF in February of that year against the Orlando Apollos. He also helped seal the win against the Arizona Hotshots, and scored all of his three attempts against the Memphis Express, which led him to be named as AAF Special Teams Player of the Week. Koo scored 14/14 on his field goals for the league until it stopped its operation midseason in April 2019.⁣⁣⁣

After AAF, Koo worked as a kicker with the Chicago Bears but was unable to secure a contract with them. He later signed as part of the New England Patriots’ practice squad on Oct 4, 2019, but was let go soon after.⁣⁣⁣

On October 29, 2019, Koo signed with the Atlanta Falcons and made all of his four field goals and both extra points against the New Orleans Saints during his debut game. He was recognized as the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week due to his great performance. He was again recognized for the same in Week 14 for helping his team win over the Carolina Panthers. On Feb. 18, 2020, the Falcons resigned Koo for a one-year contract worth $645,000.