Report: Trooper helps convince K to transfer

A Nebraska state trooper helped an FCS kicker with a decision to transfer after pulling him over on his way to an official visit to the Cornhuskers.

Now that's a recruiting pitch.

Western Illinois kicker Pat Smith was on his way to Lincoln, Neb., this past weekend when he was pulled over by a Nebraska state trooper shortly after crossing the border into the state. Rather than write him a ticket, the trooper talked football and helped convince him to transfer to the Cornhuskers program, according to a report in the Quincy Herald-Whig.

The report said that after pulling Smith over, the trooper asked where he was going. Smith said he was on his way to an official visit at Nebraska.

"He took my insurance card and went back to his car," said Smith, according to the report. "He then waved me back to his car. We spent about 15 minutes talking about the Huskers."

Smith, who just completed his junior season as a kicker and punter at FCS school Western Illinois, was let go with only a written warning.

"It made an impression," Smith said.

Smith informed his coach at Western Illinois on Monday that he would be transferring, the report said. He will walk on to the Nebraska team and hopes to compete for the starting job.

This season at Western Illinois, Smith was a perfect 10-10 on field goals and 11-11 on extra points. He punted 84 times for an average of 38 yards per kick.

He will graduate from Western Illinois in May but still has a year of eligibility remaining. He mailed out DVDs of himself and caught the attention of Nebraska special teams coordinator Ross Els, according to a report in the Grand Island Independent.

"I didn't know if it was going to happen fast, take the whole semester," Smith said, according to the Independent. "As soon as I got my tape out, Nebraska got back to me right away."

The Cornhuskers are losing the graduating Brett Maher, who was a first-team All-Big Ten selection. Sophomore Mauro Bondi is the next kicker listed on the team's depth chart.

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