Alright Buckeye Empire it’s time to peel back the layers on some of the Special Teams players on the upcoming 2013 Buckeyes Football team, just giving you guys a little bit of a tease until August31st. These guys on Special Teams don’t get the recognition that they deserve but their role is just as important as that of the offensive and defensive teams. Without a quality Special Teams squad a team would be in trouble if the offense can’t move the ball, the opposing team would get great field position. That puts your defense in an even worse position; forcing them to defend and even smaller field. Against quality teams that would almost be a death sentence. So today we will look at arguably one of the most important if not the most important Special Team positions: The Long Snapper (LS) and that’s not just me being biased because I played that position in high school.
The Ohio State University has a good one in Senior George Makridis #56 in your programs; he is a returning starter from last year’s undefeated squad. George has a very important role that is greatly under-appreciated, without a good long snapper the punter would not be able to get his punts off nor would your field goal kicker be able to hit those clutch field goals. Just go ask Jim Tressel he always said the most important play in the game was the punt. A muffed snap in those situations would be disastrous and heart breaking for the team as well as the kicker, I mean look what happened to Ray Finkle he went crazy and killed people. (Ok so that was just a bad hold, LACES OUT DAN!) Long-snapper’s prefer to remain anonymous, because if you’re famous as a long snapper it means that you’ve done something wrong and your about to be on SportsCenter’s Not So Top 10 plays of the week.
George a 6’2” 234 pound Senior came to Ohio State by way of Warren G. Harding High School in Warren, Ohio where he was a three-year starter for coaches Tom McDaniels and D.J. Dota. While at Harding High he also played baseball as a Freshman and was their Number 1 Singles in tennis as a Junior. Now at Ohio State in his 5th year, he is a 2-year varsity letter award winner and is on his way to get his degree in Political Science. George came to Ohio State following in his older brothers footsteps, Dimitrios Makridis who was a walk-on long snapper/linebacker for the Buckeyes from 2003-2007. The boys also have a sister who lettered in tennis at Otterbein University. They are the children of Irene and Nick Makridis, Nick is from Greece. George like his big brother was not highly recruited coming out of high school but he decided to come to The Ohio State University as a walk-on. In 2011 after red-shirting in 2009 and not seeing any action in 2010; he beat out Freshman Bryce Haynes who was one of the nation’s top long-snapping recruits for the starting spot on the Buckeyes roster. Last year he handled all long snapping duties (62 punts, and 68 place kicks) for the Buckeyes. His 5th year looks to be no different as he is going to get the starting nod from the coaching staff.
This year’s spring game was very quiet for the long snapper, who was on the winning team as Scarlet beat Gray 31-14. So he did not have to clean up Buckeye Grove (hallowed ground where trees are planted in honor of OSU All-Americans.) During the game there were only two punts for the Scarlet side and both of punts went on without a hitch. There was also one field goal attempt and 4 PAT attempts all which were successful and had good snaps, although Coach Urban Meyer did make kicker Drew Basil take extra attempts sometimes. George as well as the Special Teams unit as a whole will need to continue their success if the Buckeyes want to remain undefeated and continue the dominance of Urban Meyer.
Every day we get closer and closer to kickoff, and to see these players make us all proud.
As always Muck Fichigan!