'Like buying a house'

Syracuse landed a walk-on kicker on Wednesday in Evan Jakubowski. CuseNation.com spoke to his father, Jim, to find out why Syracuse was the right fit.

Wheaton-Warrenville High in Illinois is considered a prominent football school in the state. They have a rich history of state championships and having their football players play at the next level.

That history has the school on the radar of many colleges at the FBS, FCS and division two levels. When Syracuse was in the need of a kicker to bolster their depth at both kicker and punter, they started looking for options. One name that came up right away was Evan Jakubowski.

Syracuse reached out and the relationship started according to Evan's father, Jim Jakubowski.

"A lot of what we were looking at was the academic institution," he said. "We're not just going to play football for the sake of playing football. But it's important that the academic aspect be there. That was the first part of it. The second was the coaching staff, the people around the program and just kind of how you feel in general.

"It's kind of like buying a house. You can look at a lot of houses, but you can tell almost right away when you walk in whether it's going to be a good fit or not. We got that feeling and that's what kind of happened. We did take a visit up to Syracuse. We met with a lot of the people there. He (Evan) met with some of the players just in terms of passing through. Great people, great kids, great coaches and nice conversations."

The visit was key for Jakubowski, who felt at home throughout the trip.

"It felt like the prefect fit," Evan said. "Especially when I visited, I could see myself spending four years of college there. After I visited the football facility and met the coaches, I knew for a fact I wanted to go to Syracuse. Not only for the football but also for academics."

Evan's parents were excited about the opportunity at Syracuse. They were pleased with the academics at the school but also felt comfortable with the coaching staff taking care of their son for the next four to five years.

"That was a big component to this," Jim said. "Most of the schools that we visited all had that and you felt good about it. But to have all of that in one school, in terms of the academics, the school, the people, the conference, it was like I said with buying a house where you walk in and just feel like it's home."

Evan's father declined to share which other schools he was considering, but said they were from the Big Ten and SEC. Jim added that he believes Evan has tremendous upside, as he has not had a lot of coaching from a technique stand point. He believes Evan is still very raw with a lot of untapped potential.

The 6-foot-1 kicker will join Syracuse this summer and be on the roster for the 2014 season.


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