BILLINGS — One of the best high school football players in the nation is right here in our backyard, and five-star kicker and punter Jacob Kauwe has found his future home.
The Billings West senior-to-be gave his verbal commitment to Kentucky in June, and he’ll be joining college football’s premier conference.
“I just wanted to play on the biggest stage. I find it so cool, and SEC ball is as big as you can get in college football. It was the biggest stage and the best opportunity to develop when I get there. Kentucky checks both those boxes," Kauwe told MTN Sports during a recent practice session. "Coach (Jay) Boulware's track records with specialists everywhere he's been, he's got guys to the league, so he's getting people better. That's really important to me. I want to go to a place where they're going to develop me to the best I can be."
He seems so nonchalant when he mentions playing on the biggest stage, when it fact it’s those bright lights and pressure situations that some guys shy away from. Kauwe, though, seems to be wired slightly different.
“If there's not that pressure, your mind can sometimes lapse a little bit. Some people, it makes them a little shaky," Kauwe said. "It's the opposite. When there's no pressure, that's when I get lackadaisical and my technique doesn't lock in, but when there's pressure on me and I have to hit this ball that's when I'm for sure going to."
Kauwe’s had a whirlwind summer with several camps, and he’s still keeping his technique sharp at Daylis now that’s he’s back home. But this grind is something he really took head on following last football season.
“Over the winter I was either shoveling the snow out here at Daylis, or when it was too cold I had a net in my basement that I'd break out and just get reps in. It was hard to find ways, but I did," Kauwe said.
That hard work certainly paid off. Kauwe has more season as a Golden Bear before he joins Big Blue Nation in Lexington.