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College Football

Bowling Green kicker earns scholarship by making 53-yard field goal

Bowling Green Falcons kicker Jake Suder was under enormous pressure during a recent practice when making a 53-yard field goal was the only thing standing between him and a scholarship.

And wouldn’t you know it? Suder nailed it.

As Suder’s teammates looked on, Suder readied himself for arguably the biggest pressure kick he’s ever attempted in his college career. Bowling Green head coach Mike Jinks laid it all on the line after watching Suder enjoy a solid practice, Bowling Green spokesman Jason Knavel told Yahoo Sports.

And Suder’s kick was true. In fact, it was better than that, splitting the uprights and clearing the crossbar with plenty of room to spare. And with that, a mad celebration was in the offing as Suder’s teammates enveloped him as they erupted into a celebratory frenzy.

“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,” Knavel told Yahoo Sports via email. “There had been no final determination on exactly how those scholarships would be given out.

“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.”

Suder, a former walk-on, played on a one-year scholarship in 2016 and is entering his redshirt junior year. But now, thanks to his clutch kick, Suder is on a full ride. And even without the 53-yarder, the case could be made he deserves it after going 9-for-12 on field goal attempts and converting 35-of-38 extra points.

“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.”