Nick Semptimphelter, Battle Ground Academy’s starting quarterback, has made a verbal commitment to play for Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.
Semptimphelter said he is looking forward to competing for the starting job as a freshman.
“I’m ready to work harder than I ever have before,” Semptimphelter said. “I’ll be at every workout and practice ready to work my butt off.”
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound quarterback began his recruitment process with an offer from Valparaiso University. The coaching staff ended up leaving and heading to Bucknell and Semptimphelter immediately received an offer from the Bison.
“I’m really excited to play for them,” Semptimphelter said. “When I went to visit the campus and saw everything that Bucknell was about, that’s when I knew I was going to be a Bison.”
His close relationship to the coaches made the decision all the easier. Dave Cecchini, Bucknell’s head coach, was a receiver at Lehigh University (also in Pennsylvania) when Semptimphelter’s dad played quarterback there.
The second-team all-region player isn’t worried about his transition to college football.
“I think it’ll be a smooth transition, and my dad’s family is only a couple hours away, so I have that support system,” Semptimphelter said. “The only real adjustment I’ll have to make is the cold, and I don’t mind the cold.”
Football runs in the Semptimphelter family, and it’s something that motivates the young quarterback every day.
“My dad played professionally, he was with the Cowboys for two years and he played in the arena football league for six years,” Semptimphelter said. “I was younger when he was in the arena league. He’s been a huge inspiration for me and football is a great sport. I love it.”
Semptimphelter’s recruitment process was a long one that he described as trying. However, he’s always had him mom and dad there to help him navigate it.
“Nick’s got good athletic ability and a good arm, but I think it’s his intelligence and understanding of the game that separates him from other quarterbacks,” BGA head coach Jonas Rodriguez said. “Bucknell is going to be a great fit for him. They run a really explosive offense and he’s going to enjoy playing in that offense.”
With Bucknell on the horizon, Semptimphelter has his sights set on winning a state championship and a rematch against Christ Presbyterian Academy.
“Last year’s state loss has motivated me a lot,” Semptimphelter said. “Our end goal is trying to get back to that stage and winning a championship for our community and our school.”
The Wildcats lost last year’s state championship to the CPA Lions, falling 41-21. In the wake of that loss, Semptimphelter has gained 10 pounds, grown an inch and increased his mobility. He looks to improve on his previous season during which he threw for 3,176 yards and 36 touchdowns.
“Next season’s CPA game is definitely circled on my calendar, as much as I want to say it’s just another game, it’s not,” Semptimphelter said. “They beat us twice last year and we’re definitely gunning for them.”
Semptimphelter is the first recruit in Bucknell’s 2020 class. He will be able to make his spot on the team official during early signing day, Dec. 18, or during national signing day, Feb. 5.