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Those around Matt Wile wanted to keep his U.S. Army All-American Bowl invitation a secret for a week or two until his official letter arrived and they succeeded, much to the chagrin of the San Diego (Calif.) Francis Parker kicker who said he was at a loss for words when the subterfuge could go on no longer.
It was all in good fun and Wile jokingly said he's forgiven his parents and coach for keeping him in the dark. Thursday the 6-foot-2, 210-pound kicker was presented with his Army game jersey and Wile said he couldn't be happier.
"It's a great honor," Wile said. "It came to me as a little bit of a shock because my parents and my coach knew for about a week or two before me. I didn't get the letter yet so they didn't want to tell me so when I found out it was just a shock. I didn't know what to say. It's a pretty amazing feeling.
"I got the call from my kicking coach and he told me my parents knew and my dad just started smiling. I remember for like two weeks I hounded my parents for not telling me. It came as such a shock when my coach told me that I couldn't say anything. It was amazing."
The Army game week is a little different for kickers since they won't be evaluated by the Rivals.com analysts much and they don't do a whole lot during practice but once game time arrives it can be a pressure-packed situation. All eyes will be on them at times.
Thousands of people will be in the Alamodome, an intimidating venue in its own right, and the game will be on national television. Wile said he's already considering the ramifications of kicking in such a setting - and he's filled with a range of emotions.
"I'm excited, I'm nervous, I'm happy, I'm anxious," Wile said. "There are a lot of feelings. There's a part of me that's super excited ready to go and do it because I know that I've been taught to kick and punt well and I know my instincts will take over and I'll do well.
"The other part of me is of course nervous about pressure but I've always done well. I'm excited and ready to see what happens."
Wile has averaged in the mid-40s per punt this season and has touchbacks on about 100 percent of his kickoffs. He has hit 6 of 8 field-goal attempts with a long of 49.
San Diego State and Air Force have offered and many others programs are in touch with Wile, who said Clemson, Stanford, LSU, Nebraska and some Ivy League schools are showing the most interest. He remains "pretty open" in his recruitment.
"I'm most interested in getting a good education," Wile said. "For me the order is getting an education, then the coaches and then the program.
"I would like to get a good education with my athletic ability, my coaches are next because those are the people I'll be spending the next four, maybe five, years of my life with and it would also be nice to be at a football program that wins."