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FOOTBALL RECRUITING: Bambard lands at NC State, relinquishes role on offense for kicking job

By: Scott Burnstein, November 20, 2013, 11:00 am

WALLED LAKE – Goodbye quarterback, hello Division I.

Kyle Bambard, Walled Lake Western’s senior football star officially gave up his career as a field general this week, turning in his signal-calling duties for a spot on special teams as a placekicker at the college level, committing to North Carolina State of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Bambard, a dynamic dual-threat of a high school quarterback that stockpiled yardage through the air and on the ground at a brisk clip, had several Division II and III schools in pursuit of his services on offense, yet wanted to hold out for a Division I offer.

The Division I offers he received, first from Air Force and then from the Wolf Pack, required Bambard to abandon his offensive aspirations as a collegiate and focus solely on his skill as a thunder-legged kicker.

Eager for a chance to play BCS college football, he wasted no time accepting the offer to kick for North Carolina State.

“I’ll miss being under center at quarterback and leading an offense, however, I’m very eager and excited to start the new phase of my career as a member of the special teams next year,” Bambard said.

The opportunity to compete for a starting job right away was another appealing aspect of the chance to join the Wolf Pack’s 2014 recruiting class.

“The coaches have told me I can come down there and be in the mix to play early, so I’m going to do everything I possibly can between now and then to be prepared to give it my best shot,” he said.

A three-year starter for Walled Lake Western, Bambard eclipsed the 3,000-yard marker for total yards from scrimmage in both his junior and senior seasons. When he was a sophomore in 2011, he got named the starter late in the campaign and ended up spearheading the Warriors into the final four.

Last year, Bambard led Western to a district championship and to a league title this fall.  He booted 11 field goals this past season, the longest being from 49 yards. His career-long as a prepster is 54 yards, which he split the uprights with during the state semifinals to force overtime versus Lowell two years ago. In the district finals that same year, he kicked a 47-yarder that proved the difference in the Warriors. narrow 3-0 bouncing of South Lyon

So far this season, N.C. State is 3-7.

Former Western star safety and tailback Josh Jones is currently a freshman with the Wolf Pack. According to Bambard, his one-time teammate put in more than one good word in for him with the N.C. State coaches throughout his recruiting process.