Proving that recruiting knows no off season or national boundaries, and showing once again that the Ohio State staff will look everywhere to find competitors, it seems as if the Buckeyes have added a punter for the 2013 class. And we all know how important it is to have someone handle these duties with excellence on and off the field.
You may remember the saga of Johnny Townsend, the Buckeye verbal that ended up in Gainsville after a signing day snafu. You might also recall that Ohio State was in conversation with Cedarville’s Andrew Gantz, who ended up verballing to Tennessee (but now will be heading to Cincinnati- we hope to have more on this in the coming weeks).
Given that neither of those opportunities panned out (I wonder why kickers were eschewing OSU?), the plan was to have Drew Basil handle kick-off, extra point/field goal, and punting responsibilities this upcoming season.
Luckily, though, that won’t be necessary, as the Dispatch is reporting that Cameron Johnston is reporting to Columbus from Melbourne Australia to handle the rare occasions when the Buckeyes don’t gain ten yards in the attempts allotted. And, in case you were wondering, we here at tBBC are certainly taking some credit for this.
While at this point there has been no confirmation on this from Ohio State, this is not unheard of territory in college football; LSU’s Brad Wing got his start as an Aussie Rules player, and Ohio State’s own Devin Barclay came to the gridiron after a stint at another sport.
Having trained with Prokick Australia, Johnston is reported to consistently provide 60-65 yard punts with expansive hang time… I hope Charles will be able to help us with any conversion rate that might be necessary. For those unfamiliar with Australian Rules, drop kicks are an important part of the scoring game.
After the jump, you can see some of Johnston’s workout videos, as well as some tape of his performance in Aussie Rules. Again, I have no idea what’s going on there, but it will certainly change things to know that our punter knows how to tackle. As always, please excuse the soundtrack. Read More
So here’s the thing.
The story of the day yesterday was the first episode of All Access, a behind the scenes look at the Buckeye program under the new regime.
But… in a moment of weakness, I DVR’d it And watched it.
And loved ever second.
How can you hate quotes like “Abso-smurfly”, “Bozo the freakin’ clown”, “I’m glad you’re a Buckeye, bro…”, “I like coaching you…” and other admonitions to play “hungry” and “angry”.
And the precision of the offensive staff’s work, the pride that Coach Mariotti puts into his time with the team, and the focus and plan that Coach Meyer is instilling into the team… it’s a really good piece. If you missed it and don’t mind the spoilers, the gang at LGHL have a really good review with picture pages and everything.
I’d be really excited about this, to be honest, if all things were equal. Given the bad PR that my favorite program received over the past few years for numerous self inflicted wounds, it’s great to get excited about OSU football again- and to see a national response (including Southern Cal and Clemson recruits commenting on it) that was pretty positive.
But, I’ll be honest- It’s still hard for me to not be wary about this series. You kick a dog and reach to pet him, he’ll wince and cower even if he lets you stroke his head again. Given what we know about ESPN’s agenda (Entertainment Sports Programming Network), it safe to see that they are interested in a narrative of redemption up until the point that they bang the drums marking a fall from grace.
Just watch the history- 2002 upset their narrative, and then the 2003 Clarett story was a bottom. The 2006 season’s coverage was the apex of good vibes, and then this past year seems to be yet another trough in their coverage- again, a story that Ohio State wrote for itself, but one that got presented over and over and over again on the largest stage while others were way way off Broadway in Coral Gables and Columbia and Chapel Hill.
So- we’ll watch (yup) and see. And, if nothing else, this will give us the chance to celebrate the splendor and power of an Ohio State team on a very particular mission.
Buckle Buckeye up.
Word today is that punter Johnny Townsend has given his verbal commitment to be the next member of the Ohio State 2013 recruiting class.
The Orlando Florida native may be the answer to the mystery that emerged last week, when a hopeful offensive line recruit commented that he thought an offer would come soon, but that the Buckeyes were after a punter first.
Mr. Townsend is a 3.5 GPA student who stands 6′ and weighs in at 200 pounds. For what it’s worth, he also runs a 4.5 forty yard dash, is working on his Eagle Scout project, is on student government and is a member of his high school’s FCA.
And now- kicking measurables: His NKS clinic championship came from a 4.9 second hang time and a punt of 56 yards. After the break, we’ve got several videos of him in action, including his performance at the Nick Saban Punting Challenge. What I’d give to be able to punt Nick Saban… Read More