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Dane Pizzaro breaks down his Rutgers football commitment

Over the weekend, Rutgers football landed a commitment from kicker Dane Pizzaro. It is an important commitment for Rutgers to add a specialist who has a big upside.

Pizzaro committed to Rutgers football on Saturday after playing just one year of high school football. Prior to that, Pizzaro was an All-Catholic League soccer standout for Father Judge (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). In act, Pizzaro was so good at soccer that he played for the Philadelphia Union Academy, one of the top developmental programs in not just MLS but North America.

It was a long road to get to Rutgers for Pizzaro.

Contact with Rutgers began late last year. While he was hearing from a number of other programs such as Western Michigan, Sacred Heart, Incarnate Word and Western Illinois, Pizzaro felt a strong connection with Rutgers during the recruiting process.

“I chose to commit to Rutgers this weekend because I love everything about their program,” Pizzaro told Rutgers Wire.

“I love the mentality they have as a hard-nosed football team. The environment being their felt amazing. Other reason I chose Rutgers is because coach Allen (Eddie Allen, special teams quality control) is an outstanding coach and I feel great having him for the next four years. Lastly, their facilities are like nothing I have ever seen. I couldn’t believe how great their facilities were.”

Transitioning from soccer to football wasn’t easy

“It was crazy the way it happened. One day I was going to my high school soccer practice, the football team had left a ball on the field from the day before,” Pizzaro said.

“My soccer teammates were all trying to kick field goals. My assistant coach called me over to kick some because he knew I had a pretty big leg. I hit three in a row from 50 yards out.”

The head football coach at Father Judge heard about Pizzaro’s performance and approached him about playing for the team.

“I thought ‘Why not do it for fun?’ not knowing it would soon become my future,” Pizzarro said.

“After realizing that I could do something with this, I got training and started to become a lot better. Though the transition was not easy after playing soccer for 14 years, I do not regret it at all.”

It worked out pretty well for Father Judge and Pizzaro.

Last year, Pizzaro was 7-for-8 on his field goal attempts with a long of 51 yards. He connected on 33-o-35 point after attempts.

On kickoffs, he reached the endzone on 30-of-38 attempts.

Story originally appeared on Rutgers Wire