It's not every year that Ohio State has a need for a kicker, so when one gets a scholarship offer from the Buckeyes in June, it's worth taking notice. This year the Buckeyes extended a scholarship to one kicker, Kentucky resident Sean Nuernberger, who earned his offer with an impressive two-day performance in front of Ohio State's coaching staff during a kickers only camp session. When offered, Nuernberger committed to Ohio State on the spot, knowing Ohio State was where he wanted to be.
This week, Sean took some time out of his schedule to be where we wanted him to be, as the subject of the 11W Community Interview.
Meet Sean Nuernberger, your future kicker.
Explain your mental/physical process as your team moves into field goal territory and fails to convert on third down. Do you have a specific routine you go through before each and every kick? – UrbanCulture
SN: Usually, as the ball gets onto our half of the field I go over and do a few practice kicks into the net before I go to my coach and let him know I am ready for a field goal if needed. By that point, all thought is cleared from my mind and I am 100% focused on the job ahead.
How did it feel to kick in front of Coach Meyer? Were you nervous at all? What was your reaction after Coach Meyer offered you a spot on the team? – WeZBuck28
SN: When Coach Meyer walked out, all of the kickers got a bit excited. When it was my time to kick, I did the best I could to blank my mind of any thoughts about anything other than making my kicks. When Coach Meyer offered me a scholarship, it was an easy decision because OSU was always the front-runner for me. I may or may not have let out a few yells because I was super pumped.
You're a good-sized kid, if called upon to save a return for a touchdown.... Will you step up and lay the "smack-down" on the opponent? – BuckGuyFan1
SN: Definitely. I had to make a few tackles last year so I have a little bit of experience in that subject. But yes I will 100-percent lay the smack-down (I hope) if they break through the line.
Most kids grow up wanting to be a quarterback or a running back. Did you aspire to be one of those, or have you always wanted to be a kicker? – Sin City Buckeye
SN: I grew up playing four sports (basketball, soccer, track, and tennis) which left me with little to no free time. So when I started playing football, I had no time to learn how to play another position, so I pursued kicking because of my large soccer background.
The life of a kicker is an interesting one. It seems if a kicker is doing their job and doing it well by making extra point and field goal attempts, they can almost go unnoticed. But they can also be called on to win games for a team and have a chance to be the hero. If they miss a kick, though, they become a goat. Do you feel that is true and how do you deal with not only the pressure involved but also the perception that kickers aren't "real" football players? – TennBuckeye19
SN: I agree that kickers go unnoticed the majority of their career. People don't see the real value of a kicker until it's time to make or break a game. I feel like pressure is self-induced, so I stay as far away from it as possible. I never think about the result of making or missing a kick, I just see myself making the kick every time. To answer the last part of the question, I am a football player. I used to get super mad when people said that kicking was easy or whatever, but I've learned to just ignore it. I mean, I put in the same amount of work and effort as anybody else on the team, so why wouldn't I be just as much a football player as the rest of the team?
How much did academics at Ohio State play into your decision? I think I remember reading that you were interested in pursuing medicine. Awesome. – GoBucks2204
SN: My main focus was always football, but Ohio State is also a great school and I look forward to receiving a top-of-the line education. I want to do something like neurosurgery, so pre-med is definitely something I will pursue.
Was Ohio State your favorite college football team growing up? – TDible2132
SN: Since I grew up in Germany, American football wasn't really talked about that much. After moving to the States, I watched the Buckeyes more and more and grew to love the school.
Seems like your commitment came out of the blue for most of us Buckeye fans. Can you tell us about what made you want to commit? – Route4Buckeye
SN: Ohio State was my number one pick and I knew if I got the offer I would commit immediately. Committing this early didn't seem like a big deal to me, since I loved the school so much and knew that I wouldn't change my mind. It was the one offer I really wanted.
When you line up for a kick, what goes through your mind? How do you handle distractions? – Citrus
I will 100-percent lay the smack-down (I hope)..
SN: Well, it's simple. The less I think, the better. When I go out to kick, I try my best not to think about anything. I see myself making the kick a few times, and then go blank. I try to block all things out, almost exactly the same way I have to block out my sister at home sometimes. (Sorry Kylee)
I just want to say thank you to everybody that supports me, including my great parents and sister, my wonderful girlfriend, and Coach Dick Seitz who has been by my side for the last year. I thank God every day for the blessed life that I live, and I hope to do great things at Ohio State. God bless, and let's win some championships. Thanks again Buckeye nation!