Thanks to mixup, Bowling Green kicker's eligibility runs out a year early

Bowling Green’s <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaaf/players/251542/" data-ylk="slk:Jake Suder">Jake Suder</a> was a senior in 2017. He thought he was a junior.
Bowling Green’s Jake Suder was a senior in 2017. He thought he was a junior.

Bowling Green kicker Jake Suder thought he was entering the 2018 season as a senior kicker on scholarship.

He’s not. He’s not eligible to play football this season.

Thanks to a mixup, Suder was a senior in 2017. He started his college career in 2013 at a Division II school. He attempted a few field goals as a freshman and then transferred to a community college. He joined Bowling Green before 2015 and didn’t play until 2016.

Suder thought he was redshirting in 2015. He wasn’t. From the Toledo Blade:

“I thought the fall of 2015 was a redshirt year, but in reality my eligibility clock was ticking, and my redshirt year was 2014,” Suder explained. “Then the coaching switch [from Dino Babers to Mike Jinks] happened, and nobody said anything.

“I thought I was a redshirt sophomore heading into the 2016 season.”

He told the Blade that he didn’t fault anyone for not noticing what had happened. Since he didn’t redshirt in 2015, last season was his last season of eligibility and not his penultimate one. He appealed to the NCAA, but the governing body turned the appeal down. He’s now training for a chance to get a pro tryout after making 18 of 22 field goal attempts in 2017.

“When I was in that limbo stage, I worked out with the team,” he said. “But in late February when that was denied, I knew I had to start training for pro day. …

“The compliance people at BG told me the appeal was like trying an 80-yard field goal. You can attempt it, but will it go in? Probably not.”

Suder earned a scholarship before the 2017 season by nailing a 53-yard field goal in practice. The moment was one of the coolest of the offseason as Jinks made a spur of the moment decision to offer him a scholarship in exchange for a long field goal during an August practice.

“Coach had two scholarships still available for kids this year and Jake was one of the few kids who they had on their short list as a possibility for those two. There had been no final determination on exactly how those scholarships would be given out,” Bowling Green spokesperson Jason Knavel told Yahoo Sports in August. “So, at practice, they were kicking and Jake was nailing them. So when they got to the long one (53 yards out), Coach Jinks out of the blue told him, ‘Knock this one down for a full scholarship.’ It really was organic and out of the blue.”

Unfortunately for Suder, that scholarship was only for a season instead of two.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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