After handling Ohio State’s kickoff duties in all of its first five games of the season, Jayden Fielding is now “officially” a Buckeye.
Fielding has been Ohio State’s kickoff specialist all season despite the fact that he still had his black stripe on his practice helmet, but that finally changed after Wednesday’s practice.
A walk-on kicker from IMG Academy, Fielding has the rare distinction of losing his redshirt before his black stripe, as he is already over the four-game limit for a player to take a redshirt year. While Ohio State could have opted to hand kickoff duties over to Parker Lewis after Lewis was cleared to play by the NCAA last week, the Buckeyes made the decision to stick with Fielding because they are pleased with how the true freshman has performed so far.
“I think Jayden’s off to a great start,” Ryan Day said last week. “I think that he's done some good things. He certainly hasn't been perfect, missed a couple here. And so we want that consistency. We want him to be the best in the country at what he does. That's the expectation for any position here at Ohio State. So we'll go into the game with Jayden and kind of take it from there.”
Fielding has handled every kickoff for Ohio State so far this season and has recorded 19 touchbacks with two kicks out of bounds on 41 kickoffs. Opponents have returned 12 of Fielding’s kickoffs for a total of 253 yards.
Fielding is the 15th true freshman to have his black stripe removed in 2022. He’s the third walk-on to join that club along with running back TC Caffey and quarterback Mason Maggs.
|TANNER MCCALISTER||S||MARCH 28||Transfer|
|KYE STOKES||S||APRIL 8||Freshman|
|CADEN CURRY||DE||APRIL 11||Freshman|
|CHIP TRAYANUM||LB||AUG. 9||Transfer|
|JYAIRE BROWN||CB||AUG. 9||Freshman|
|C.J. HICKS||LB||AUG. 13||Freshman|
|ZAK HERBSTREIT||TE||AUG. 17||Second year|
|KALEB BROWN||WR||AUG. 17||Freshman|
|KYION GRAYES||WR||AUG. 20||Freshman|
|DALLAN HAYDEN||RB||AUG. 20||Freshman|
|JOOP MITCHELL||WR||AUG. 20||Second year|
|KENYATTA JACKSON||DE||AUG. 20||Freshman|
|SONNY STYLES||S||AUG. 30||Freshman|
|TC CAFFEY||RB||SEPT. 14||Freshman|
|KOJO ANTWI||WR||SEPT. 15||Freshman|
|MASON MAGGS||QB||SEPT. 15||Freshman|
|RYAN TURNER||CB||SEPT. 22||Freshman|
|HERO KANU||DT||SEPT. 22||Freshman|
|JAYDEN FIELDING||K||OCT. 6||Freshman|