Butler redshirt freshman kicker Jacob Abel committed to McNeese State on Saturday night, sending another Grizzly kicker to the Division I level.
"I had the best relationship with the coaches compared to any other school," Abel said on why he chose the Cowboys over other schools.
Dream come trueHappy to say I’m continuing my football career at McNeese State University! Thanks to all my Family, Friends, and Coaches who got me to this point. #Committed #GeauxPokes pic.twitter.com/ZSetyRecPl— Jacob Abel (@thejacobabel) April 5, 2020
For Abel, earlier in the season he was in a battle with teammate Taiten Winkel but early season struggles by Winkel saw Abel grab control of the place kicking duties and never let go.
The launch to Division I has that of many other JUCO players. He exceled at Goddard to only get offers from Butler and Fort Hays State, Abel has shown why he has the leg to make it at the next level.
Abel was 35-of-38 on extra points, including hitting his final 19 extra points. He was 13-of-16 on field goals. His 45-yard field goal in the win over Garden City was crucial in the upset over then third-ranked BroncBusters.
Abel had big shoes to fill as Butler had to replace Kansas State’s Ty Zentner and he lived up to the hype. The 15th ranked kicker at the highly respected Kohl kicking camp, Abel battled with Winkel, who also had high marks at Kohl’s. However, Abel’s consistent and what coaches describe as calm demeanor led to him taking the reins and never letting go.
Abel was named the KJCCC Special Teams Player of the Week twice on the season. First was with his performance against Dodge City, going 5-of-5 kicking that day. Then, he 6-of-6 against Garden City, earning Player of the Week honors the week of Nov. 12.
McNeese State has two other kickers on the roster, both underclassmen but Abel is expected to be the only kicker on scholarship heading into the regular season. The Cowboy kickers were a combined 12-of-19 on field goals last season.
Going to Lake Charles was more than just football for Abel. An intelligent player who is thinking about his future beyond football.
"McNeese has one of the top engineering programs," Abel said.
Abel choose McNeese State over Austin Peay. He will have three years to kick for the Cowboys.