Until Central Valley senior Austin Rehkow launched the record-setting 67-yard field goal last fall, recruiting interest was lukewarm at best.
Then the video of the kick went viral and interest increased measurably.
Today, high school athletes often put together their own highlights and send them off to colleges. In Rehkow’s case, his foot and the ensuing video did the talking for him.
Still, before he orally accepted a scholarship to the University of Idaho, Rehkow had a difficult decision to make.
Although he had a preferred a walk-on offer to national power Oregon, his decision came down to a full ride to Football Championship Series power Eastern Washington University or a program without conference affiliation, Idaho.
Rehkow followed through on his commitment, signing his letter of intent Wednesday morning – about 30 minutes after his 6:30 seminary class.
Two days before his famous kick, EWU offered a partial scholarship. Two weeks later, Rehkow received an offer from Idaho and EWU increased its offer to a full package.
“My goal all along was to play (NCAA) Division I,” Rehkow said. “It was really kind of a toss up between Idaho and Eastern. Each had their pros and cons.”
Rehkow anguished over the final decision.
Two weeks ago he visited Idaho and met new coach Paul Petrino.
“I knew it was the place for me,” Rehkow said. “As a kicker, you get to play half your games inside. That’s a benefit. And Mike Hollis (former CV standout and NFL kicker) played there. It’s a place where kickers can pursue the next level, which is ultimately my goal.”
Rehkow said Idaho also was open to him serving a two-year mission with the Mormon church.
“That was one of the big things as well,” Rehkow said.
The other attractive thing is Idaho has an opening at punter.
“Their punter graduates and they don’t have another punter in the program,” Rehkow said. “They recruited me to be a punter right away. I can also challenge for placekicking.”