Have foot, will travel.
That was the strategy employed by Ottawa Hills' placekicker/punter Michael Geiger last month, and it was one that netted him a scholarship offer from Boston College.
Geiger, one of the nation's top-rated kickers from the class of 2013, recently made a verbal commitment to the Eagles and head coach Frank Spaziani.
"I went to their [football] camp this year and did really well," said the rising senior Geiger. "They told me, 'You performed great, and we'll be in touch.' That's where it left off. A week and a half later the special teams coach [Sean Desai] asked me what my interest level was. They wanted to make sure I was committed to Boston College, or at least extremely interested before they offered me. It took me about five days and I told them I was committed to Boston College. They offered and I said yes on the spot."
Over a 2 1/2-week span during June, the 5-foot-9, 180-pound senior-to-be traveled for kicking tryouts to LSU, Virginia, BC, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Michigan, Oregon, California, and Michigan State.
"Every school I visited was remarkably impressive and, if any one of them would have offered I could have committed," Geiger said. "I wanted a very high-education school with a solid football program.
"I grew up a Michigan fan, and that would have been my No. 1 school. But ... I don't think they were looking for a scholarship kicker this year."
Geiger, a right-footed kicker, had previously received a scholarship offer from Ball State in the Mid-American Conference.
Geiger was the top-rated placekicker in the nation from the class of 2013, according to the Chris Sailer recruiting service, one of the top two camps and recruiting services for kickers. He was ranked No. 9 on the other top service, Kohl's Kicking. His name also appears among the nation's top-rated kickers on lists posted by Rivals.com, Scout.com, and ESPN.
Geiger rarely misses practice field goals anywhere inside 45 yards, and is typically successful about 75 percent of the time from 50 yards. His average kickoffs, without the aid of wind, travel 70-75 yards.
Last season, Geiger, who also starts for the Green Bears as a receiver and safety, was 35-of-37 on extra points, and 1-of-5 on field goals, although most of his misses were from beyond 50 yards. He also punted for a 41.6-yard average. He sent 88 percent of his kickoffs into for touchbacks.
"Michael is an incredible weapon," said Ottawa Hills football coach Chris Hardman. "You're basically in scoring range when you cross the 40. It also changes where we start playing defense. Typically the other team starts on their 20."
Geiger's football numbers, which included two touchdowns, were accumulated without daily practice with the football team. His primary focus in the fall was as Ottawa Hill's goalkeeper in soccer. He earned second-team All-Ohio honors in that sport.
"If I was at St. John's or Central Catholic or Whitmer, this wouldn't be any big deal," Hardman said. "But we've never had a Division I football recruit before."
Geiger is also a solid academic performer. He carries a 3.89 grade-point average, and scored 28 on the ACT and 1930 on the SAT (college entrance exams).
Contact Steve Junga at: firstname.lastname@example.org 419-724-6461, or on Twitter @JungaBlade.