Smith-Cotton alum Bake Grupe made the 53-man roster of the New Orleans Saints as their field goal kicker on Tuesday, August 29. His performance this pre-season made it possible for the Saints to trade Wil Lutz to the Denver Broncos for a seventh-round draft pick in 2024.

Grupe spoke to the media and discussed the spot he earned. According to a post on the New Orleans Saints website, Grupe told media outlets that he set the expectation that he'd make the team when he walked in the door. The New Orleans Saints website quotes Grupe.

"It's why I came here. If you get caught up in everything else, then you're not worried about your job. So the job, when I wake up tomorrow, I'll feel the exact same that I've felt in the last month. Just take every single day, and go out and do it."

Grupe says he's thankful for everything that's come and happy that his hard work has paid off. He told the media he did everything he could to get the most out of his opportunity with the Saints and tried to maximize the opportunity.

Groupe played high school football at Smith-Cotton, then spent his college career playing for Arkansas State and Notre Dame. Grupe kicked a game-winning field goal to lead the Saints to a last-minute victory over the Chiefs on August 13, which even prompted Chiefs broadcaster Mitch Holthus to mention Grupe's hometown and the conflict Sedalia area Chiefs fans felt after his winning kick.

Grupe's fans won't have to worry about cheering him on as the Chiefs and the Saints won't meet during the regular season

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