With the special teams department being a little shaky over the past couple seasons — namely the place kicking game — Urban Meyer got down to business in 2017 as he signed the number two-rated kicker in Blake Haubeil.
Haubeil has been committed to Ohio State for over a year now and has one of the biggest legs in the country when it comes to prep football. Though kickers do not usually receive a ton of attention when it comes to the recruiting services, 247Sports has an official ranking on Haubeil and even has him ranked as the No. 11 overall player in the state of New York.
At 6’2, 190 pounds, Haubeil has a good frame and doesn’t have the look of an unathletic kicker—quite the opposite, actually. Over the course of his stellar senior season, Haubeil was also named a first team high school All-American by USA Today.
Though Ohio State returns Sean Nuernberger in 2017, Haubeil will have a chance to compete for the starting job. Nuernberger suffered a groin injury last season that he was not able to fully recover from. If Nuernberger does indeed return to his 2014 form, it’s likely that Haubeil would head for a redshirt year in 2017, which wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. Still, there’s a chance that a strong fall camp could put him into consideration to be the starting kicker as a freshman next year.
He’s been on board with the Buckeyes for a while, and for good reasons:
Coming out of Amherst, NY, Haubeil is a tough kid to miss, listed at 6’4 and 225 lb. Even more impressive than his stature is his treasure trove of kicking awards, making the USA Today, MaxPreps, and Scout All-American teams as well as the State of New York 1st team offense. Coming into a fairly open Ohio State kicking competition, against Sean Nuernberger, he could be making an early impact.
More impressive than his accolades are some of his camp and high school statistics, showing some exceptional on the field ability. In his senior high school season Haubeil went a perfect 56 for 56 on extra points and 6/9 on field goals. His junior year he set a school and league record with an incredible 61 yard field goal make.
Camp coaches have raved about Haubeil’s incredible field goal range and his very strong kickoffs, both of which could be key for Ohio State. At one Buffalo camp last May he hit 9/10 field goals with his only miss coming from 52 yards. By all accounts though his range is phenomenal and he generates lots of power, through his tall frame, to be able to hit lengthy field goals. Expect him to look to make an immediate difference in Ohio State’s kicking game.—Max Littman, LGHL