If you can make a kick with a scholarship on the line, you can probably make one in a pressure-packed moment in a game, right?
That’s the situation Bowling Green’s Jake Suder faced on Tuesday. And it was from 53 yards out. Could he handle the pressure?
Suder drilled it, and his teammates went crazy. This obviously isn’t the most usual circumstance for giving a scholarship to a walk-on, so we reached out to Bowling Green for context of the story. It’s even better than you’d expect.
Bowling Green spokesman Jason Knavel told Yahoo Sports that Suder was having a really good practice, so head coach Mike Jinks decided to challenge him to a 53-yarder with a scholarship on the line. It was completely unplanned.
“Coach had two scholarships still available for kids this year and Jake was one of the few kids who they had on their short list as a possibility for those two. There had been no final determination on exactly how those scholarships would be given out,” Knavel told Yahoo Sports via email. “So, at practice, they were kicking and Jake was nailing them. So when they got to the long one (53 yards out), Coach Jinks out of the blue told him, ‘Knock this one down for a full scholarship.’ It really was organic and out of the blue.”
The situation was so off the cuff that the program’s video crew wasn’t even set up to shoot when Jinks issued the challenge to Suder. Luckily, Knavel said, somebody was able to roll a camera at the last moment.
Suder, a former walk-on, was on scholarship for the 2016 season, but it was just a one-year agreement (something that is common when a coach has to juggle 85 scholarships). If Suder missed the kick, there’s no guarantee he would have been put on scholarship for the 2017 season.
“Coach Jinks said that afterwards he realized he had no idea what he would have done had he missed the kick,” Knavel said. “It was a totally spur-of-the-moment event.”
Now Suder, who is entering his redshirt junior season, will be on scholarship for the rest of his career. How cool is that?
Suder was Bowling Green’s primary kicker in 2016. He connected on 9-of-12 field goal attempts and was 35-of-38 on extra points. The longest field goal he made was from 44 yards out, but this video shows what kind of range he possesses.
The Falcons, entering their second season under Jinks, open up the 2017 season on the road at Michigan State on Sept. 2
More college football from Yahoo Sports:
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