clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

You decide: Ohio State football’s all-decade kicker, punter

Our 2010-2019 All-Decade Team series continues with the kicker and punter positions.

The 2010s are coming to an end and we can’t help but reminisce about the memories that the decade brought with it— a national championship, four Big Ten titles, four head coaches, and some of the best to ever wear the scarlet and gray.

To wrap up the decade, we want to hear from you about who you think should comprise the Ohio State Buckeyes’ All-Decade team. From now until the end of the year, we will be going position by position and giving you the candidates so that you can decide who receives this honor more prestigious than a tree in Buckeye Grove, a pair of gold pants, or a ring so big that you have to carry a 10 pound weight in the other hand just to stay balanced.

You’ll be able to vote in the positional articles through Dec. 31 at 12 noon ET, and on Twitter for one week after the poll goes up. Keep in mind that since we are conducting part of the voting on Twitter, we are limited to just four options per position, so this is going to be tough!

Once all the votes are in for every position, we’ll reveal the final All-Decade roster on the final day of the 2010s.


Finally: Kicker and Punter. Here are your candidates:

Kickers

Devin Barclay (2010)

Marshall v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Barclay’s time as Ohio State’s kicker straddles this current decade (2009-10), so we are only going to focus intently on his numbers from the 2010 season, in which he was named to the Big Ten’s second team.

But to not consider the totality of the kicker’s career would be a mistake. Barclay joined the Buckeyes as a 24-year-old in 2007 after five years as a professional soccer player, including two seasons with the Columbus Crew.

After replacing an injured Aaron Pettrey in 2009, Barclay was OSU’s first-team kicker in 2010, when he went 62-for-62 on extra points, and 20-for-24 (83.3 percent) on field goals. That second total is the best career mark in Ohio State history, behind only OSU Hall of Famer Mike Nugent, and the 20 FGs is fourth-most in a season in OSU history.

His 2010 total of 122 points is tied for seventh all-time for a Buckeye and second-most for kicking points behind Sean Nuernberger, whom we will get to shortly.

Barclay never missed an extra point for Ohio State, and his five field goals against the Miami Hurricanes is tied for the most in a single game by a Buckeye.


Drew Basil (2011-2013)

Iowa v Penn State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Drew Basil was an incredibly efficient placekicker for Ohio State in the early part of this decade. In his three years manning the duties, he missed only four extra points and had a field goal percentage of 78.6 percent (33-for-42), which is third in Ohio State history behind Nugent and Barclay.

He accounted for 268 points in his three seasons with the Buckeyes, the 10th most in a career by a Buckeye. His 102 consecutive extra points in 2012-13 is the second longest string in Buckeye history, behind only Nuernberger, who (again) we will get to momentarily.

His 2013 mark of hitting 9-of-10 field goal attempts is the best single-season total in Buckeye history (with a minimum for five attempts); his 2011 total of 16-for-19 (84.2%) sits at seventh. His six field goals of 40-49 yards in 2011 are the second most in a single-season by a Buckeye, behind only Nugent’s 10 in 2002.

Following his collegiate career, Basil was signed by the Atlanta Falcons and spent time with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League and with the Cleveland Gladiators of the now defunct Arena Football League.


Sean Nuernberger (2014-2018)

NCAA Football: Maryland at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Nuernberger had an incredibly interesting career for Ohio State. He came out of no where as a true-freshman in Ohio State’s national championship season of 2014, but after his sophomore year, he was supplanted by Mr. Fight Club himself, Tyler Durbin.

However, the native of Bamberg, Germany returned to form in 2017, only to eventually have his senior year interrupted by injury, giving rise to Blake Haubeil’s tenure as OSU’s kicker.

Despite the ups and downs of his career, we should not overlook the consistency that Nuernberger provided the Buckeyes. In his four years as OSU’s kicker, he hit 216-of-216 extra points that he attempted. Those consecutive EP conversions are a Big Ten record that very well might not ever be broken.

Nuernberger also owns the sixth and seventh highest scoring seasons in OSU history and is fourth all-time in career points. He was named to the B1G’s All-Conference third-team in 2017 and is currently pursuing his law degree at Cincinnati.


Blake Haubeil (2017-2019)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 07 Cincinnati at Ohio State Photo by Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Like Barclay on the other end of the decade, Haubeil’s career won’t fit neatly into the confines of this decade, as he still has one season of eligibility remaining. And while he was selected as a third-team All-Big Ten honoree this year, I don’t think that that is enough for him to forgo his senior year.

Haubeil began handling OSU’s kickoff duties in 2017 as a true-freshman and took over placekicking duties in 2018 after Nuernberger injured his groin. In his two seasons with those responsibilities, Haubeil is a perfect 122-for-122 on extra points and is 23-for-28 (82.1%) on field goal attempts.

Currently, that career percentage puts him at the top of OSU’s all-time mark, ahead of Nugent’s 81.8 percent. Obviously Haubeil will likely have another season of kicking to do in the scarlet and gray, but if he can maintain that rate, passing Nuuuuuuuge in a statistical category that important would be quite the accomplishment.


Punters

Ben Buchanan (2010-2012)

Ohio State Buckeyes Vs. Toledo Rockets 9-10-2011

In an interesting confluence of tenures, there have only been three punters of note for the Buckeyes in this decade. The 2010s started out with Ben Buchanan handling the duties after getting a few opportunities as a freshman in 2009.

In all three of his seasons punting for the Buckeyes, Buchanan averaged exactly, or just over, 41 yards per punt (41, 41.3, 41), and his 41.2 yards career per punt average is 10th best for a Buckeye.

Buchanan’s 2,889 punting yards in 2011 are the fourth most in a single-season in OSU history, while his 7,286 career yards are also fourth. Over his time in Columbus, he downed 58 punts inside the 20-yard line, the third most in program history, and his 27 in 2011 are also third for a Buckeye.

Dating back to his playing career, Buchanan has earned three degrees from Ohio State, including his Ph. D. in sports management in 2018.


Cameron Johnston (2013-2016)

NCAA Football: Michigan at Ohio State Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

During his four years as OSU’s punter, Cameron Johnston redefined what a punter for OSU could be. Bringing with him the traditional “Australian style” of punting, Johnston etched his name in program history in nearly every important punting category.

His 9,483 career punting yards are third all-time behind Brent Bartholomew and Tom Tupa, who played with admittedly less explosive OSU offenses. His career average of 44.9 yards per punt is second all-time just a hair behind Andy Groom’s 45.0.

While Johnston’s power was impressive, his accuracy was what most turned heads. He landed 31 punts inside the 20-yard line in 2013, which is the most ever by a Buckeye, and his three seasons of doing it 26 times — which he accomplished in 2014, 2015, and 2016 — are all tied for fourth. His 109 punts downed inside the 20 are by far the most by an OSU punter; A.J. Trapasso is second on the all-time list with just 78.

Johnston was selected to the Big Ten’s All-Conference second team in 2015 and first team 2016; he was also named the B1G’s Eddleman–Fields Punter of the Year in his senior season as well. He signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017 before catching on with the team full-time in 2018. He has a 47.2 yards per punt average in his two seasons in the NFL.


Drue Chrisman (2017-2019)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 09 Oklahoma at Ohio State Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Like Haubeil, Ohio State’s current punter will return for another year of action in the next decade. But, Drue Chrisman has already compiled some impressive numbers in his three seasons for OSU.

His career average of 43.9 yards per punt currently places him in fourth-place all-time behind Groom, Johnston, and Tupa. The 2018 season saw Chrisman down 29 punts inside the 20 yard-line, the second most in program history to Johnston’s 31.

Chrisman was named to the Big-Ten’s third team in 2017 and second team 2018. And while — in one of the worst miscarriages of justice in college football weekly award-giving history — he was not the B1G’s special teams player of the week for his efforts against Michigan State in 2018, he almost certainly had as big of a role in a victory as a punter can possibly have.

After a massive four-yard shank on his first punt, Chrisman punted five times in the second half, and all five were downed inside the 10-yard line!


Remember, since we are limited to four options on Twitter polls, some other great Buckeyes will get left out of some of these polls. If you want to tell us how wrong we are for leaving your favorite player out, or if you want to make your case for one of the candidates, please feel free to do so in the comments below!

First the kickers:

Poll

Who was Ohio State’s best kicker of the decade?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Devin Barclay
    (24 votes)
  • 69%
    Drew Basil
    (613 votes)
  • 15%
    Sean Nuernberger
    (134 votes)
  • 11%
    Blake Haubeil
    (105 votes)
876 votes total Vote Now

Now, the punters:

Poll

Who was Ohio State’s best punter of the decade?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Ben Buchanan
    (89 votes)
  • 65%
    Cameron Johnston
    (427 votes)
  • 20%
    Drue Chrisman
    (133 votes)
649 votes total Vote Now
Full Disclosure: Land-Grant Holy Land’s deputy managing editor Tia Williams is engaged to marry Cameron Johnston.