Western Illinois University kicker Patrick Smith has one of the better legs in the country. He just completed his junior season at WIU, where he was one of 10 finalists for the Fred Mitchell Outstanding Place-Kicker Award. Smith was 10-for-10 on field goals last fall, and he has decided to take his talents to a bigger football conference like the Big Ten.
According to the Quincy Herald-Whig, Smith was driving to the University of Nebraska’s campus in Lincoln last weekend when he was pulled over by a Nebraska state trooper. Apparently the officer liked the Cornhuskers so much that he decided to do a bit of recruiting.
“He took my insurance card and went back to his car,” Smith explained. “He then waved me back to his car. We spent about 15 minutes talking about the Huskers.”
The officer let Smith off with a written warning, and he said the conversation he had with him “made an impression” and convinced him that Nebraska was where he wanted to be. On Monday, he informed WIU coach Bob Nielson of his plans to transfer. Nebraska’s kicker, senior Brett Maher, will be graduating.
Smith is graduating early from WIU, meaning he will be transferring to Nebraska as a graduate student. That will allow him to be on the team without having to sit out and lose a year of eligibility. In case you have forgotten how much the people of Nebraska love their Huskers, this should serve as a reminder. State troopers wouldn’t act as recruiting tools in many other states across the country.
H/T Game On!