Over the past decade, when it comes to kicking, the Ohio State Buckeyes have been fortunate enough to suit up some pretty good players. The best of the bunch has to be Mike Nugent. While a Buckeye, Nugent went 72-88, or good for 81.8% of his attempts. After his days as OSU's kicker, Nugent was taken in the second round of the NFL Draft by the New York Jets. Over the past thirteen seasons, the Buckeye kicking game has made 230 of 297 3-point attempts, a field goals made percentage of 77.4. So maybe that's why coaches like Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer stress special teams.
But let's switch things up and look at what the future holds for Ohio State kicking. After this season, the Buckeyes will have to rely on someone other than Drew Basil, who has converted 24-for-32 field goal tries over the last three seasons. Could that guy be Sean Nuernberger out of Buckner, Kentucky, who committed to the Buckeyes back on June 11th? It very well might be. Sean is a 247Composite thee star and is rated the sixth best kicker in his class.
I was able to catch up with Sean and asked the 6-2, 220 pound kicker a few questions:
You have always stated the Buckeyes were your number one choice. What was it about Ohio State that made them stick out above the rest?
I could name a million reasons why I choose Ohio State. They have one of the best football programs in the country, and the atmosphere is insane. The Ohio State University is also a great school, which was very important to me. I plan on studying Neurosurgery, and Ohio State supported that.
You have been committed to Ohio State a little over two months now. Tell me, what has it been like? And have any other schools still been in contact with you?
Its been crazy! I've gotten lots of love from the fans, and just a ton of support. I am truly blessed to be a part of this special program. [As far as other schools go], I have not talked, and will not talk to any other programs. I am a Buckeye.
The Buckeyes have fielded some pretty good kickers in their recent history. What does it feel like to have this opportunity to be the next in line?
I definitely have some big shoes to fill following the like of Mike Nugent and Drew Basil. But I love being challenged and am very thankful to be in the position I am in. I can't wait to come through for Buckeye Nation.
You've probably heard the saying that sometimes kickers are "head cases". Even Ohio State's own Kirk Herbstreit says something along those lines in "NCAA Football '14". As a kicker, what are your thoughts on the position's reputation?
Eh, I guess that is somewhat true. Kicking is such a mental game. If you are not mentally tough, it's an extremely hard job to do. [As for me], I don't consider myself a head case whatsoever. No matter what the situation is, I try to remain calm and focus on the job at hand.
With Drew Basil graduating after this season, has [Ohio State special teams coordinator] Coach Coombs talked with you about where you might fit into the kicking game in 2014?
Sure, we've talked about the situation quite a bit. With Drew [Basil] being gone next year, the position is wide open. My mind is set on coming in and starting next year, and if things work out right, that will be the case.
Every kicker can go from being the one who kicked the game winning field goal to the goat. As a kicker, what has been your greatest achievement, and what moment would you consider your lowest?
Being offered a scholarship and committing to Ohio State has definitely been my greatest personal moment. That is something I will never forget. I really haven't had any low moments as a kicker. But earlier in high school, I have missed some field goals that I feel I should have easily made, which is one of the hardest things to deal with.
What games do you plan on attending this season, and have you set up your official visit yet?
I haven't set up my official visit yet, but I plan on attending every home game I can this year, which should be most of them.
Growing up, who was your role model? What about them stuck out to you?
My dad, Kai, was definitely my hero growing up. He was still playing pro basketball [in Germany] when I was little, and being at every game meant the world to me. He taught me how to stay ahead of the competition mentally, and also with my work ethic. Without him, any of this would be a long shot!
What do you have to say to everyone reading this?
Buckeye Nations is amazing! We have the best fans in the country and I am unbelievably excited to make some field goals in front of this crowd!
Urban Meyer – One of the best coaches in college football. Pumped to play for him!
Dunk contest winner: you or Jamarco Jones? – Is that a real question? Jamarco is going down!
Batman or Superman – Batman
Dream 14 – The best class in the country! Ready to kill it next year.
Below are some of Sean's highlights:
Sean also went on to add, "I want to thank my family and coaches for all their love and support. Without them, I wouldn't be where I am today. I am so blessed to be part of something so special, and to have Buckeye Nation behind me. The Dream 14 is coming soon."
I personally would like to thank Sean for taking the time and doing this interview. We wish nothing but the best to Sean during his senior season.