Pirates kicker Wogan commits to Oregon

by C. Jemal Horton

Matt Wogan committed to Oregon on June 26.

Matt Wogan has made a lot of important kicks during his football career. The Porter Ridge rising senior has booted kickoffs out of the end zone, knocked in countless extra points and field goals, and sent punts spiraling high into the Indian Trail night that regularly put Pirates opponents in horrible field position.

But a kick he made on June 16 ultimately earned Wogan a full scholarship to the University of Oregon.

While attending a camp on the Oregon campus, Wogan and nine other high school players were going through field-goal kicking repetitions in front of Ducks coaches. The athletes started from 40 yards out and backed up in five-yard intervals, with each player being eliminated with a miss. By the time they moved back to 60 yards, only Wogan and another kicker remained. Then, the other kid missed.

Wogan calmly stepped up and booted in his 60-yarder, prompting Oregon coaches to invite him upstairs to talk with Ducks coach Chip Kelly.

“Coach Kelly said, ‘I told my (assistant) coaches that if you made that 60-yard field goal (for them) to offer you a scholarship,’” Wogan recalled. “I said, ‘Oh, OK,’ and kind of laughed. Then Coach Kelly said, ‘No, you don’t understand – we’re offering you a full ride.’”

“I couldn’t believe it. I was so excited.”

Ten days later, after praying about it and discussing it with his parents (Ron and Lori), Wogan accepted Kelly’s offer. He plans to sign with the Ducks, who play in the Pac-12 Conference, in February.

“It’s unreal,” Wogan said. “Oregon is, by far, the best place for me. The people there, the environment – I can’t get it out of my mind. Since I committed, I’ve met so many of the players on Twitter and Facebook. It’s just a great family out there, and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Wogan also had full scholarship offers from Wofford, Towson (Md.) and the Charlotte 49ers. But Wogan will join the Ducks, even though their Eugene, Ore., campus is about 2,800 miles from home.

“I made a list of pros and cons, and I just knew Oregon was the right place for me,” Wogan said. “The only con I had was location, but I also had location on my pros list. My mom said, ‘How can you have location under pros and cons?’ I said, ‘Mom,’ they have all kinds of places out there to fish, and I love fishing. They have the mountains out there with a lot of elk, and I’m a big game hunter.’ From those things to academics, it’s got everything I need.”

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