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Georgia kicker Joseph Petrino commits to Maryland

The Maryland football team's newest recruit didn't play the sport until two years ago.

Richmond Hill (Ga.) kicker Joseph Petrino, who on Friday committed to the Terps over offers from Army West Point and Samford, was focused on soccer, a spring sport, when a football coach at his high school asked him whether he wanted to kick for the team.

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"I just never thought I would be here today," the rising senior told WSAV-TV.

Petrino has made 12 field-goal attempts in his high school career, with a long of 52 yards, and hit all 29 of his extra-point attempts as a junior. His coach said he "didn't blink" when he asked Petrino to attempt kicks from as far out as 65 yards last season.

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"That says a lot about a guy's leg strength, and when he's kicking off the ground, you've got to be fundamentally sound," Matt LeZotte told WSAV-TV. "And I see it every day at practice. I see his focus, and his ability to reload and recalculate is just phenomenal. He's going to translate very well to the next level."

Petrino, rated the No. 34 kicker in the Class of 2018 by Kohl's Kicking Camps, is the Terps' 15th commitment. He fills the team's need at the position after Jonathan Doerer switched his pledge from Maryland to Notre Dame days before national signing day.

Twitter: @jonas_shaffer

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