David Bonagura Wins Rutgers Place Kicking Job with Consistent Effort

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Kicker David Bonagura's passion is contagious, and it drove him forward in an ongoing camp battle with Jared Smolar at Rutgers. Bonagura earned the nod on field goals in the final week before kickoff against Washington.

Rutgers placekicker David Bonagura on his upcoming debut...

I was talking to Tim Gleeson the other day in the training room, and I just wanted to be on the plane already. I'm just super excited for everything. I'm really happy about it.”

On winning the battle...

I always knew that at some point the coaches would bring someone in. And they brought Jared [Smolar] in and Jared's great. He's a great competitor. He's doing a helluva job as well. We're both hitting the balls the way we want to. At the end of the day, it all comes down to who the coaches trust the most to do the job. I don't know if I really saw this happening. I've waited three years for it, and I never gave up on it. First of all because I love the school. I don't ever want to leave this school. At the same time, I love the guys on the team. I wouldn't want to leave them. The fact that … they trust me to do the job, I love it. I'll take all the pressure. I love it.”

On competition...

I love competing. I went to a lot of kicking camps and a lot of exposure camps and stuff growing up in high school. I love it. I was always the first one to get out there, who wants to kick the ball? I'll do it. I love it. I love the competition. I love, you can feel even at kicking camp it's a bunch of kickers just kicking the ball, I can feel the emotion and the stress. They want to win it. I love the passion. I love the competitiveness. I love competing.”

On traveling to Washington...

I'm ready for anything. At the same time, it doesn't matter about the people in the stands, the fans, it matters about the operation and if the operation is smooth. Now it looks pretty smooth. The snapper Alan Lucy and the holder Mike Cintron and the guys blocking up front, I have all the trust in the world in them. At the end of the day, once that ball is snapped and the ball is down, it's my job at that point.”

On practice pressure...

Coach [Chris] Ash, he even did it in the spring, he had the whole team circle around me and a lot of them would try to wave their hands in front of my face or the coaches will get in my ear, 'don't choke. Don't miss.' … I love when they cry out and just scream at the top of their lungs because at a certain point, that's the most I can get to a pressure situation. I just love people screaming at me and trying to make me miss and I just hit it through the pipes. You try to make me miss and I didn't. I love that feeling and the fact that I can get that done and they have trust in me.”


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