Josh Dodge, a senior punter who Blue Springs football coach Kelly Donohoe calls “one of our MVPs this season,” has made a verbal commitment to play for the University of Missouri.

“I’m so excited,” said Dodge, perhaps the most successful punter in the history of the storied Wildcats football program. “I went to an MU camp, and actually had one of my worst punting days, but I guess they liked what they saw and I’m going to be a Tiger.”

Because of the great success of the 10-2 Wildcats offense, Dodge has just punted 38 times this season for a Blue Springs team that will play for the Class 6 state championship Saturday after defeating Park Hill 34-14 Saturday.

But when he punts, he makes the most of the opportunity as he is averaging 40.6 yards per punt with an impressive nine punts inside the 20.

“If Josh has the chance to nail a team deep in its own territory, he does it,” Donohoe said. “He’s one of our MVPs this season. You don’t get this far without a great kicking game, and we have one with Josh and Sam (Knowlton, who is 6-for-6 on field goals and 30-for-33 on extra points).”

Dodge said there were many factors involved with his commitment to the surging Tigers football program.

“It’s close, so my family can come watch me play,” Dodge said Friday, “and I was looking for a school with the right academics.

“Ever since I got serious about punting in high school, getting a scholarship was my end goal. Now we’re a win away from going to state for the second year in a row and I’ve been offered a scholarship from the school I really wanted to attend.

“It’s been a good week, a really good week.”