Rutgers Lands 2016 Kicker Jared Smolar

Rutgers received a commitment from kicker Jared Smolar, who will walk on with the Scarlet Knights this season. Smolar becomes an instant contender as Kyle Federico's replacement at placekicker in Piscataway, N.J.

Valparaiso (Ind.) kicker Jared Smolar turned down a scholarship offer at Marshall to walk on at Rutgers, where he made a final decision Saturday. Smolar begins his Rutgers career this summer as a preferred walk-on but has an opportunity to land a scholarship based on performance.

"I believe he will [earn a scholarship]," said Chris Sailer of Chris Sailer Kicking. "Great walk on, he's a scholarship-caliber player."

Smolar held offers from Marshall and Arkansas State before he committed to Rutgers, where assistants Jafar Williams and Vince Okruch both played roles in the decision.

"Jared is an excellent kicker," Sailer said. "He has one of the strongest legs in the nation and has big time all around ability. Field goals are outstanding off the ground. One of the very best kickoff legs in the nation.  He will be a touch back guy in college."

Smolar felt ready to join the program at the end of his official visit.

"The campus and business program are exceptional and the coaches have a great plan to turn the program around," Smolar said. "I've been through a rebuilding program at my high school and I want to be part of something great. It's like weight lifting off of my shoulders to finally commit."

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