BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — It was an offer Jake Suder couldn’t refuse: Nail this 53-yard field goal and your final two years of college are paid for. His coach at Bowling Green State University wasn’t joking. A lot was on the line for the red-shirt Junior kicker. Suder had been relying on year-long scholarships to get through college to that point, but he had not secured a scholarship for the coming school year. Paying for his Junior and Senior years at Bowling Green were on him. Suder had been practicing with the football team in summer training camp and was worried he may have to take out student loans.
And then he got this proposal.
“It was 100% out of the blue. Nobody knew about it,” Jason Knavel, Assistant Athletics Director for Athletics Communications at BGSU, told Humankind. While it certainly was spur of the moment, some thought had gone into it. “Certainly there were conversations in the coaches’ offices beforehand,” Knavel said. “There were two scholarships left and Jake was on the short list of the kids who were being considered.” But no one knew it would go like this. – H/T USA Today
What a week for walk-on college football kickers. This one isn’t quite as heartwarming of a backstory than the kid from Minnesota earlier this week, but the end result makes you feel just as good. My favorite quote from my favorite movie, Tin Cup, which by the way has the undisputed best ending in the history of sports movies, seems applicable here. “In life when a defining moment comes along, you must define the moment, or the moment will define you.”
This was one hell of a defining moment. This kid was given once chance, one opportunity, did he capture it, or let it slip? Of course, he nailed that shit. This is an ultimate ice in the veins moment. Not everyone is given this type of opportunity to put all their hard work on the line. To prove their skill and talent can get it done in the biggest of moments and they will never waiver. This is why the coach of this guy deserves the most credit.
If you’re gonna have a kicker on scholarship on your team, wouldn’t you want someone who can make a kick with 6 figures of tuition and loans on the line? Does it get bigger than that? I can easily argue it doesn’t. This was a win-win for the coach. You give a kid who deserves it, the chance to earn his right on the team as a full scholarship player.
If he misses, you dont have to give it to him and everything remains the same. But if he nails it, you just locked up a kicker with all the confidence in the wolrd, with no fear and the nerves to nail the biggest kick of his life under an immense amount of pressure. At the end of the day, are there any qualities you want your kicker to possess more? The short answer is, no there isn’t.