Pitt landed a unique recruit on Tuesday, as Ben Sauls, a kicker out of Tippecanoe High School in Tipp City, Ohio, accepted a scholarship offer from Pitt and announced his commitment to the program. Kickers rarely receive such offers, but Sauls is a special talent with a strong leg, and he has made multiple kicks of 50-plus yards during his high school career.
Sauls was initially committed to Boston College but rethought his decision after Eagles coach Steve Addazio was fired. He then accepted an offer from Iowa State last week, but Pitt was able to flip him from his pledge to the Cyclones with a late offer. The specialist discussed the move with Mike Vukovcan of Pittsburgh Sports Now.
“I have nothing but the utmost respect for the Iowa State program,” Sauls said. “However, when I committed to Iowa State, I did not have the full scholarship [offer from Pitt]. On Friday, Coach [Pat] Narduzzi gave me the full scholarship, and for the last two years, I have hoped to go to Pittsburgh on full scholarship to play for Coach [Andre] Powell and learn from Alex Kessman. I made my decision with my family that was based on academics and the best choices for my future athletic career. I could not be happier to be a Pitt Panther. Lock the gates, and hail to Pitt.”
The 5’10”, 185-pound kicker holds two-star ratings from Rivals and 247Sports, and the latter has him ranked as the No. 14 player at his position in the 2020 class. He drew offers from Arkansas and Georgia Tech in addition to the offers he received from Boston College, Iowa State and Pitt.
Sauls is known for his range, as he converted on three of his five field-goal attempts in 2019, making kicks from 49, 50 and 55 yards out. His only misses were from 55 and 57 yards. At Pitt, he is expected to redshirt in 2020 and hone his skills during Kessman’s senior year.