Football kicker makes field goal for scholarship

By Zane Miller and By Zane Miller

Jake Suder, the kicker for the Falcons football team, hit a 53-yard field goal in practice as part of a challenge by Head Coach Mike Jinks to earn a full scholarship for the rest of his collegiate career.

However, Suder was able to forget all of the pressure and put the kick through the uprights resulting in a team-wide celebration.

“There’s pressure involved in every single kick. I take in the team type atmosphere,” Suder said. “But I try not to think about the pressure or anything else but the task at hand, which is making the field goal… It’s not really an actual method I use, I just try to go out there with the clearest mind possible and take my steps back and just line up and kick. A clear mind is an open mind.”

After the scholarship-winning kick, the story received national media attention, further spreading the awareness of the unique scenario.

“I never expected it to blow up like this,” Suder said. “It was something that I’m not used to with being in a low spotlight. My family had a lot of fun with it. They loved seeing me on TV in that sort of spotlight, they were just proud of their son and brother.”

Like many other college football players, Suder was interested in football during grade school and eventually decided on kicking in the higher ranks.

“I’ve been kicking since fifth grade, so it’s been a while since I started kicking the football,” Suder said. “It just progressed and I went into high school, had dreams of playing at the Division I level, so then I eventually made it here.”

What brought Suder to Bowling Green in particular was its close location to his hometown.

“I’m from Toledo, so it’s close to home and I had a brother-in-law who played here before and he loved it here. I just wanted a spot on the team so I just decided I’d try out.”

While needing to wait for the right opportunity, Suder never lost confidence along the way that he would eventually be a starter.

“I took it goal by goal, the first goal was making the team and I knew that after (former kicker) Tyler Tate left that there was going to be an open position, so after that the next goal was becoming the starter and then hopefully earning a scholarship which ended up working out.”

After the situation had played out, Suder felt grateful to the coaching staff for the opportunity.

“I feel really good about it, I can’t be more grateful to Coach Jinks to have the confidence in me to name me a scholarship kicker,” Suder said. “It shows how much faith and trust he has in me, and he has high expectations for me and I just hope to meet those expectations.”