Augusta Christian kicker Matt Chiera made sure his future was taken care of Wednesday.
That was when the Lions’ senior signed his letter of intent to play football for the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Ga.
Chiera previously had been offered a spot as a preferred walk-on at the University of South Carolina, but the timing wasn’t right.
“I was going to go there but they didn’t want me to sign so early, they wanted to wait until summer to sign but I didn’t want to wait that long just in case anything happened,” Chiera said.
With other interest in him after a year in which he kicked two fields, made 14 extra points and averaged 40-yards-per-punt, Chiera decided on the Division II Wolves who play in the Gulf South Conference.
“Their facilities are nice, their coaches are nice,” Chiera said. “They’ve got a new coach who came from a school in Alabama where he won two Division II championships, so that really stuck out to me.”
What he did after the season was over may have played as big a role in his recruitment as what he did during the season. He attended the 2013 Southern Specialist Camp where he won four of eight competitions, including two with a 72-yard kickoff and a 57-yard field goal.
“He went to camp right after football season and won it and from that point on it (recruiting) exploded,” said Lions’ head coach Keith Walton. “The potential is through the roof for his ability.”
Chiera said Walton was a key figure in the recruiting process.
“Coach Walton worked his butt off to get me recruited and so that helped a lot,” Chiera said. “Our motto this year was ‘No pressure, no diamonds.’ and so we really focused on working hard and making sure we get to where we want to get.”
While penciled in to assume kickoff duties, Chiera intends to compete for another spot as well.
“Me and the placekicker are going to kind of go at it during the summer and see what we can do,” Chiera said.