Western Illinois kicker Pat Smith, a Fred Mitchell Award finalist last season, will transfer to Nebraska.
Husker special teams coordinator Ross Els called Smith just a couple of days after Smith's DVDs were mailed to NU.
“I didn’t know if it was going to happen fast, take the whole semester,” Smith said. “As soon as I got my tape out, Nebraska got back to me right away.”
NCAA rules allow graduates with remaining eligibility to transfer without sitting out a year. Smith is set to earn his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois in May. His coach at WIU, Mark Hendrickson, is not returning.
“I didn’t know a lot about the Nebraska program, about its history. I didn’t know the pedigree of the kickers that had been there,” Smith said. “I had a great visit.”
As a junior in 2012, Smith made all 10 of his field-goal attempts for Western Illinois, including a long of 46 yards. He taught himself how to punt before the season and averaged 38 yards per attempt on a school-record 84 punts.
He was one of 10 finalists for the Fred Mitchell Award, given annually to the best college kicker outside of the Football Bowl Subdivision.
“I’ll compete for whatever (position) is available,” Smith said.
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WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING:
Huskers add walk-on kicker (Omaha.com)
Opportunity to kick at Nebraska entices Smith to transfer (Whig.com)
Kicker Patrick Smith convinced by state trooper to transfer to Nebraska (http://larrybrownsports.com.com)
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VIDEO FROM WESTERN ILLINOIS (2012 PRESEASON):