Transferring to Ohio State A “Very Easy” Decision for Long Snapper John Ferlmann, Who Expects to Win Starting Job and Compete for Championships

By Dan Hope on December 19, 2022 at 8:35 am
John Ferlmann at Arizona State

Going into his trip to Columbus this past weekend, John Ferlmann was already leaning toward transferring to Ohio State.

Once he made his visit to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Saturday, Ferlmann didn’t waste time making his decision, announcing his commitment to Ohio State shortly after his visit concluded.

There wasn’t just one factor that made Ferlmann certain he wanted to be a Buckeye. Rather, it was a combination of everything he already knew about Ohio State and saw during his visit that made him sure Ohio State was the right place for him.

“Obviously, the facilities are world-class. I mean, Ohio State, the name itself carries so much weight in college football. Personally, I want to play for a team that competes nationally every year for a championship. I want to win, I want to be a key factor in that. I want to be a strong chain in the link of other guys and do my job. And I think Ohio State in terms of the other schools that reached out to me, it has that,” Ferlmann told Eleven Warriors. “I mean, you look at the resources available, you look at the weight room, the nutrition plan, the coaching and the culture there is unbeatable anywhere. Anywhere. So I mean, just all those things combined really, it really made my decision very easy.”

Ferlmann, who will be on scholarship at Ohio State after previously walking on at Arizona State, was also recruited by several other Power 5 schools including Virginia Tech, Syracuse and Georgia Tech after he entered the transfer portal two weeks ago. Ferlmann also gave serious consideration to becoming a Hokie because of Virginia Tech’s reputation for special teams excellence.

“Beamer Ball, I’d say, was a close second. I mean, if you're a special teams player, it's hard to look at that opportunity and say no. But they were the only one that I took very seriously,” Ferlmann said. “Syracuse reached out and there was some interest there, and then Georgia Tech reached out and there was also some interest there. But definitely it was between Ohio State and Virginia Tech.”

Once he spent a day at Ohio State, though, Ferlmann was sold there was no better move for him than to become a Buckeye.

“Man, you walk in the door, what's the first thing you see? You see trophies, you see dozens of trophies from bowl games to national championships. I mean, it’s just impressive. You walk in, it sets the tone,” Ferlmann said. “I mean, off rip, I'm coming in, I'm impressed, right? I'm in the good headspace, I'm already leaning towards Ohio State just from a brand name and just from what they've accomplished as a team and what they can accomplish as a team and what I want to be a part of. But just seeing what they use every day; honestly, for me, the two biggest things was the coaching and frankly, it was the strength program and the nutrition part of that, because the nutrition was something I lacked in previous years that I really wanted to upgrade and really focus on.”

Ferlmann, who spent two years at Arizona State and was the Sun Devils’ starting long snapper last year after he took a redshirt in 2021, said his decision to leave Arizona State – his hometown school – came with the arrival of ASU’s new coaching staff. While Ferlmann had a close bond with former Arizona State special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum, he said he “didn’t see eye to eye” with new ASU special teams coordinator Charlie Ragle, prompting him to look elsewhere.

Ohio State special teams coordinator Parker Fleming reached out to Ferlmann just one day after he entered the portal, setting the wheels in motion for Ferlmann to become a Buckeye just 11 days later.

Ferlmann said he and his family went to dinner with current Ohio State long snapper Bradley Robinson, punter Jesse Mirco and Fleming when they arrived in Columbus on Friday night, and Ferlmann immediately got a sense of the brotherhood Ohio State players often talk about.

“It's something that right when you walk in the building, you feel guys interact with coaches, with other people. I mean, I'm walking through, other guys on the team are just shaking my hand, saying what's up to me and it's just, you can tell just off of the players’ interaction with strangers of how they're coached and how they've been taught by authority to deal with other people,” Ferlmann said. “It's great. I love it.”

While Ferlmann has aspirations of playing in the NFL, he also chose Ohio State because of what he believes OSU can do for him off the field.

“They've got the most connections out of any college in the United States,” said Ferlmann, who plans to major in communications. “And I admit that I didn’t take academics as seriously at my prior school and I'm changing my tone. I'm really excited to get in the classroom, I'm really excited just to get on campus. I mean, it's truly a dream come true for me.”

Ryan Day said last week that Ohio State isn’t going to promise starting jobs to any transfers, so Ferlmann will have to compete to be the Buckeyes’ long snapper next season. Ferlmann, who has three more years of collegiate eligibility, will face competition from fellow redshirt sophomores Mason Arnold – who has handled long-snapping duties for Ohio State this season since Robinson suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Buckeyes’ seventh game of the year against Iowa – and Max Lomonico.

That said, Ferlmann will be the only long snapper on scholarship for the Buckeyes next year with Robinson exhausting his eligibility. And Ferlmann is coming in confident that he will win the starting job.

“I mean, I wouldn't go anywhere without coming in to compete for the starting job. I want to be the best, I’m training to be the best,” Ferlmann said. “My goal is to play professional football. I'm not a slouch. I'm gonna go in there and work my butt off in the weight room, on the practice field. So if everything rolls the right way, I'm confident with what the future holds.”

“I want to play for a team that competes nationally every year for a championship. I want to win, I want to be a key factor in that. I want to be a strong chain in the link of other guys and do my job.”– John Ferlmann

When he returns to Ohio State in three weeks as a midyear enrollee and begins winter workouts with the Buckeyes, one of Ferlmann’s biggest goals will be to bulk up. While the 6-foot-2 long snapper currently weighs 225 pounds, he wants to get up to 235 pounds before next season, which he expects to be no issue with the help of Ohio State’s strength and conditioning coaches and team dietitian Kaila Olson.

Although he doesn’t have much time to prepare to begin his career as a Buckeye, he says he’ll be ready to “jump in the deep end” as soon as he arrives.

“I'm gonna work my butt off every day I'm in that building,” Ferlmann said. “I'm gonna come in with a smile … I’m a role player, I'm gonna do my job and I'm gonna do it very well.”

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