As the 2013 Ohio State Buckeyes Football Team enters summer workouts, many positions are being filled. Head Coach Urban Meyer filled out most of his two-deep depth chart shortly after the Buckeyes completed their 2013 spring game in front of 30,000 plus in Paul Brown Stadium. So how exactly does sophomore punter Jake Russell fit in to the championship equation?
Russell played just two years of football during his high school career at Twinsburg High School in Twinsburg, Ohio for then head coach Mark Solis. During those two years, Russell handled both punting and kicking duties, taking on both his senior season. Russell put together an impressive senior season as a kicker recording 44 of 46 on extra points five field goals (long of 42 yards) and 28 touchbacks.
Also a high profile high school soccer player, Russell had originally committed to Bowling Green State University on a soccer scholarship as a goaltender. After a discussion with Solis, Russell compiled a highlight tape that caught the eyes of Toledo and yes, the Ohio State Buckeyes. Russell then made a trip to Columbus and quickly fell in love with THE Ohio State University (how could he not?). Russell accepted a preferred walk-on spot at Ohio State and redshirted the 2011 season, giving up a scholarship to become a Buckeye.Now a redshirt sophomore at Ohio State, Russell (6’1, 195) finds himself in a unique position. After the unexpected and disappointing signing day switch of Johnny Townsend to Florida, Russell finds himself in a position to battle for some playing time. While it is likely that starting senior place kicker Drew Basil will handle the punting duties throughout summer into the start of the season, don’t rule out Russell as a competitor for the punter position. Russell will have other competition as well, including converted wide receiver Frank Epitropolous and do it all special teams player Russell Doup.
Despite the competition at the position Russell is confident in his abilities saying,
“Drew is a great punter, a great leader and he has years of game experience on me. I’m going to do everything I can this spring to make a name for myself and show I have the ability to perform.”
You can find Russell wearing #14 this fall (don’t worry, Bauserman is not walking through that tunnel) and maybe even pinning the ball into the coffin corners. The former Twinsburg Tiger has talent and is sure to push Basil, Doup and Epitropolous to their absolute limits.
Check out Russell’s kicking in the video below from his High School in Twinsburg.