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Back in June, Ben Sauls made a verbal commitment to Boston College and thought his high school recruitment was over with. However, that mindset changed earlier this month when he decommitted from the Eagles after the firing of head coach Steve Addazio.
Sauls has one of the strongest legs in the country and immediately started receiving interest from Power Five programs but making that decision to decommit and start the recruiting process over wasn’t easy thing to do.
“It was definitely not easy,” Sauls told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “Decommitting was something that I didn’t plan on doing until certain events happened at Boston College. It wasn’t easy and especially making the phone call to that coach but at the same time it’s exciting because as they say when one door closes another one opens. I just consider myself lucky to be in the position that I am.”
— Ben Sauls (@bsauls22) June 25, 2019
Despite having a number of other opportunities, after discussing things over with this family, Sauls decided to make visits to three new programs: Pitt, Arkansas and Iowa State. Those visits started this past weekend as he visited Pitt on Friday and Saturday and then went to Arkansas on Sunday and Monday. This coming weekend, he’ll make his final visit to Iowa State.
I asked Sauls about the fact that he was able to visit Pitt and Arkansas on back-back days and would that give him a better and immediate opportunity to evaluate the pros and cons of each program.
“Yes, it’s definitely beneficial to see two programs back to back. My family and I are able to make a pros and cons list and that’s something that we’ve been doing. Honestly, it’s tough to find a con in either program. At the end of the day, it’s a Power Five program, with great facilities, great coaches, players were all outstanding and the school itself was outstanding. My decision is going to be based on how comfortable I am at that school, if it feels like home and my relationship with the coaches.”
Pitt would be a different situation for Sauls than either Arkansas or Iowa State because he wouldn’t be on scholarship his first semester of his freshman year and would join them as a blue shirt. He also tells me that Pitt’s plan for him would be to redshirt his first year and learn from senior Alex Kessman and then take over the kicking duties in 2021.
Sauls had plenty to like about his two day stay in Pittsburgh especially the familiarity with the coaches and Kessman.
“The city of Pittsburgh itself really stood out to me,” said Sauls. “The campus is now quite downtown but it’s still in the city which I thought was very neat. I enjoyed the city and Pittsburgh is a sports town and the fan base in Pittsburgh is great. The other thing that stood out was the coaching staff at Pitt, especially Coach Powell who’s been my main recruiter. Coach Narduzzi took a lot of time talking with me and that was great.”
“Alex Kessman is phenomenal. My plan and Coach Narduzzi’s plan would be to redshirt my freshman year and develop behind Alex Kessman which is a huge advantage because Alex will be a pro kicker and I’ll have a chance to learn from him for a whole year before I start. I’ve known Alex now for 3 or 4 years because we have the same kicking instructor. I met him at a kicking camp in Michigan and we’ve developed a friendship. So, I would go into there having him as a friend because we’re already pretty close so that would be beneficial.”
— Roman Smith (@FreshwayRoman) September 14, 2019
After the visit to Iowa State this weekend, what’s Sauls timeline for making a decision?
“I’ll visit Iowa State this weekend and then I’ll take the next week to decide with my family and that decision will be made before February 5 hopefully February 1, 2 or 3. Like I said before, I’ll make a pros and cons list and then decide which is the best fit for me.”