Nebraska trooper convinces kicker to play for Huskers during traffic stop

Eric Francis

An enthusiastic Nebraska state trooper helped convince a kicker that the Huskers were the right fit for him.

When people discuss which college football fan bases are the most dedicated, Nebraska fans are almost always included in the conversation. It makes sense, as the Cornhuskers are one of the most decorated programs in college football history, and there are no major professional teams in the state to steal the spotlight.

A perfect example of how intense people get about the Huskers in the state of Nebraska came this past week, when Western Illinois kicker Patrick Smith drove down to visit Lincoln. Smith was pulled over by a Nebraska state trooper, and when Smith told the officer what he was there for, the officer spent the next 15 minutes talking about Cornhusker football with him.

"It made an impression," Smith said.

Smith was one of 10 finalists for the Fred Mitchell Place Kicker Award, which goes to the top kicker in any level of college football below the FBS. Kicking may not be the biggest need area in Nebraska recruiting, but the Huskers are losing senior kicker Brett Maher, so the addition of Smith could help ease some special teams worries in Lincoln.

Smith got away with a written warning.

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