Everyone in college sports knows that student-athletes get five years to play four seasons. Bowling Green kicker Jake Suder learned the hard way that clock doesn’t stop whether you’re actually on a team or not.
As detailed by the Toledo Blade, Suder graduated from Toledo’s Central Catholic High School in 2013 and then enrolled at Notre Dame College, a Division II school South Euclid, Ohio. He kicked for Notre Dame’s football team that fall, then withdrew from school. After spending the spring of 2014 at a community college, Suder transferred to Bowling Green for the fall 2014 semester — but did not join the Falcons’ football team. He joined the club for the 2015, ’16 and ’17 seasons, thinking the ’15 season in which he did not play counted as his redshirt season.
Turns out, the NCAA counted the 2014 season in which Suder did not play as his redshirt season, and he sat out 2015 for nothing. Suder appealed the decision, but learned last month his college career was officially over.
“I wouldn’t even know who to blame; it just happened,” he told the Blade. “As awful as the situation is, there’s nothing I can do to change it. I just have to move on.”
Suder joined the team as a walk-on but earned a scholarship after nailing a 53-yard kick in practice, which went viral on social media.
After mistakenly sitting out 2015, Suder became the Falcons’ placekicker for the past two seasons. He connected on 27-of-34 (79.4 percent) field goal tries and 67-of-71 (94.4 percent) extra points. Instead of preparing for his senior year, Suder is now gearing up for a run at a professional career.
“As soon as I got the word, I called my dad, and I called every connection that I had,” Suder told the paper. “I needed to get an agent, and I needed to get my name out there so teams knew I was draft-eligible. No teams were looking for me because nobody knew I was eligible.”