Finding the right fit for your college football program isn't just about what happens on the field, but off it as well. Today, Ohio State added a key piece. How will that commitment impact the Buckeyes?
Ohio State landed its kicker for the 2020 class, as new head coach Ryan Day retools his roster during his first full offseason as the head coach of the Buckeyes.
Jake Seibert is rated as the No. 1 kicker in the 2020 class by Chris Sailer, a former All-American punter and kicker at UCLA, on ChrisSailerKicking.com – a site that represents a top-tier kicking camp in the country. The Cincinnati-native chose Ohio State over UCLA, Michigan State and others.
This is how Seibert’s commitment impacts the Ohio State 2020 class.
On the Field
With one look at Seibert’s tape, it’s easy to see why Ohio State was recruiting him. The La Salle High School kicker makes 50-yard field goals look easy, and his kickoffs sail out of the end zone so often that opposing returners typically don’t even try to run the ball down.
“Jake is a special kicking talent,” Chris Sailer wrote on Seibert’s ChrisSailerKicking.com profile. “He is an amazing athlete with a big time leg and natural ability. He hits a great ball off the ground on field goal. He has 60-plus yard range and gets excellent lift on his ball. His kickoffs are D1 ready right now. Jake drives the ball deep into the end zone with 4.0-second--plus hang time. He is a competitor that thrives under pressure. The sky is the limit here. Jake is a fine young man with a great attitude and work ethic.”
Through the camp, Seibert won the 2018 TOP 12 Last Man Standing Field Goal competition and was named to the Chris Sailer TOP 12 list. He has also been invited to the 2019 camp, which is an honor for most kickers in the country.
Seibert hit all six of his field goal attempts as a junior in 2018, and he recorded 29 touchbacks on 37 kickoffs.
In the Class
Seibert becomes the 10th commitment of Ohio State’s 2020 class and will likely be the only kicker taken by the Buckeyes. He is expected to grayshirt, which means he will pay his own way through his first semester and then be placed on scholarship the rest of the way.
For a class that is earning major looks from some of the top recruits at each position, including recently landing the commitment of the top-rated wide receiver in the country, earning the commitment of the top-rated kicker in the nation might seem like a small victory but could pay major dividends down the road.
Off the Field
Getting a kicker in a head coach’s first recruiting class is a frequently unspoken point of significance. Head coaches typically have to develop a great deal of trust in the legs at the kicking position, with entire games riding on the accuracy of a kicker.
Getting a kicker like Seibert that has the stamp of approval from Chris Sailer is crucial for setting the tone at the position, whether it’s on the field or in practice.