It looks the Buckeyes will have a veteran kicker, after all.
Ohio State got a boost to its special teams on Wednesday afternoon as veteran North Carolina kicker Noah Ruggles announced his decision to transfer to Ohio State as a graduate transfer.
Thank you God. To those of you who never stopped believing in me, thank you. I am blessed beyond belief. With that being said, I have accepted a scholarship offer and am committed to THE Ohio State University #LetsWork #GoBuckeyes pic.twitter.com/U6dP9dgfoV— Noah Ruggles (@noahruggles) June 9, 2021
Ruggles spent three seasons with the Tar Heels where he went a perfect 48-for-48 on extra points and hit 19 of 27 field goals. Ruggles served as the team's primary placekicker in 2019, but lost the starting spot to Furman transfer Grayson Atkins, who will be returning for the 2021 season.
In his career, Ruggles is a perfect 9-for-9 on field goals of less than 30 yards, 7-for-9 between 30 and 39 yards, and 3-for-6 between 40 and 49 yards with a long of 49. He has never hit a field goal of 50 or more yards at the collegiate level, going 0-3 from that distance, though his recent videos on Twitter show he's been working on making long-range kicks:
Ruggles will compete for the starting placekicker spot this fall, and at a minimum will add experience and depth to what is a position of uncertainty for the Buckeyes.
With starter Blake Haubeil now in the NFL, Jake Seibert is the team's lone returning scholarship placekicker. Though Seibert was a highly-touted kicker coming out of high school and did kick in three games last season when Haubeil was unavailable, his only made field goal came from 23 yards out. He missed his only other field goal attempt in those games, a 44-yard kick against Indiana. He also went 0-for-2 on 40- and 45-yard field goal attempts in the spring game.
Ruggles will be on scholarship at Ohio State and will be eligible to play for the Buckeyes immediately this fall. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining.