With a game-long of 43 yards and practice-best of 57, Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph Regional place kicker Gavin Haggerty wants to bring his leg to the Big Ten.
Committing to Rutgers Thursday as a preferred walk-on, Haggerty described it as an honor to stay in his home state for college.
“I’m very excited being a New Jersey guy,” Haggerty said. “It’s really important for me to stay in Jersey and play in front of my friends and family and the home crowd.”
Haggerty battled through the 2013 state playoffs alongside Rutgers defensive tackle Kevin Wilkins, and credits graduate assistant Rocco DiMecco as the head of his recruitment.
“It seems like they treat their student athletes really well over there both on and off the field, and that was something that was really big to me,” Haggerty said. “They’ve got a great football program and great academics.”
Haggerty joins Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic punter John Bowers and West Long Branch (N.J.) Shore Regional kicker Jake Montiero as committed specialists at the walk-on level.
“Coach DiMecco told me, walk on or not, we’re all family here,” he said. “They tread everyone the same. Walk-ons aren’t different at all. I’m willing to work really hard for the spot, and hopefully I earn it some day.”
Rutgers hosted Bergen Catholic long snapper Chris Sayan today on an unofficial visit. He expects to decide soon as another preferred walk-on specialist target.
“[I] talked to Rocco some more, and got to meet some academic advisers,” Sayan said. “[I] even got to meet [long snapper] Alan Lucy real quick.”