It happened by chance. Or perhaps it was the luck of the Irish.
Growing up in Ireland, UCF senior kicker Sean Galvin was drawn to soccer, hurling and Gaelic football. Upon moving to Florida in 2004, American football fell into his lap.
"[Football] happened by accident," said Debra Galvin, his mother "The football came flying across the field. Sean caught it and kicked it back. The football coach said 'You're playing football now.'"
The game that found him in high school will now lead him back to the land of his birth. On Saturday, Sean could be the player to kick off the Croke Park Classic against Penn State, if the coin toss falls in his favor.
In the three years he has been a kicker for UCF, Sean has attempted just one extra point and attempted no field goals, but he has secured a role as the team's kickoff specialist. He has a career average of more than 62 yards per kickoff.
Sean, Ireland's own, is returning home.
"It should be a home game hopefully," Sean said. "If they don't pull for me, then who are they pulling for?"
Large Irish stadiums are nothing new to Sean. Through playing various sports such as hurling, soccer and Gaelic football, Sean played in some of Ireland's biggest stadiums — but never Croke Park. Only in his dreams did he play in Croke Park, the mecca of Irish venues.
"Croke Park is like the Yankee Stadium of Ireland," Sean said.
"He always wanted to play in Croke Park because that's the holy grail in Ireland," Debra said.
Four other college football games have taken place in Ireland, with Notre Dame and Navy drawing more than 48,000 fans in 2012, the largest draw of any college football game in the country.
But for Sean, this one is close to home — 200 miles.
Coming home comes with the excitement of seeing family and friends who don't normally get the chance to see Galvin play. Between 40 and 50 friends and family members are planning to make the trek to Dublin. The senior grew up in Bandon, Ireland, which is located near Cork, Ireland. The family has deep roots in the southwest portion of the country.
And the ticket requests haven't slowed down as the game approaches.
"Everyone is calling nonstop," Sean said. "We'll figure it out when we get over there."
As for how he ended up in the United States, his parents, Debra and James Galvin, owned a nightclub in Ireland, and decided to move to Florida for the quieter life. They were familiar with the Orlando area because James' brother used to live in the area.
Ten years later, Sean is in the spotlight as he returns to a place he knows all too well.
One thing led to another, and Sean has become one of the faces of the Knights to those in Ireland. Rarely do kickers receive the attention that the senior has garnered in the lead-up to the game. Phone interviews with Irish media have become commonplace after UCF practices over the past year.
But the added attention and spotlight shouldn't have any effect on Sean — at least, that's what his mother says.
"He's going to love every minute of it. He can't wait to get out there," Debra said. "The more pressure you put him under, the more he loves it. That's just the way the boy is."
As the game fast approaches, Sean has become a valuable resource to his teammates, many of whom are making their first trip out of the United States.
"I'm definitely ready to tour the city. I've never been across the water and out of the country," left tackle Torrian Wilson said. "We've got Galvin telling us about Ireland, and we're just excited about seeing the country, meeting the people and the fans."
Sean is not the only person in the UCF locker room with Irish ties. By way of Ellis Island, both sets of George O'Leary's grandparents came over from Ireland.
"What my parents said all the time is the thing that makes Ireland a great country are the people of the Ireland." O'Leary said.
And the Galvins were able to lend a hand.
More than a year ago, UCF contacted the Galvins for advice on which local attractions the players should go to see, and the players have consulted their kickoff specialist on what awaits them across the pond.
"[I've been telling them] how friendly the people are, and the weather is going to be much different," Sean said. "It won't be 100 hundred degrees, that's for sure. It might be windier, but they'll enjoy their time over there."
UCF's trip to Ireland brings Galvin full circle. His dream was to play Gaelic football, and to play in Croke Park. Now, he is bringing American football to the place he only dreamed of playing.
"This is a great opportunity for Sean to go home and play," Debra said. "We can call it the luck of the Irish."