One of the biggest names in the offseason for Ohio State was Frank Epitropoulos. No, not longest names, biggest. Due to the decommitment of Johnny Townsend, the highly regarded punter from Orlando, head coach Urban Meyer has been left in somewhat of a bind. The punter is a position that has been highly regarded at Ohio State for decades now. Seen as Jim Tressel as the most important play of the game, punting can end in monotony with a fair catch, excitement for the punting unit with a deeply pinned kick, or travesty with a bad snap or run back for 6. As of now, our punting may reside in the leg of our place kicker Drew Basil, or possibly in red shirt freshman Epitropoulos.
Coming in from Upper Arlington, Epitropoulos was a 3-star recruit (Rivals) as a wide receiver. An all-state track performer, Epitropoulos comes in with good speed, running the 40 in 4.47 seconds. His senior year was productive, although he missed four games, but ended up with 25 catches for 459 yards and 7 touchdowns. All of this wide receiver talk may become a mute point if the Buckeyes can’t get another punter who is capable of taking over duties from Basil. While wide receiver is something the Buckeyes are not short on, punters are, and this may be the opportunity for him to get his shot at some early playing time. As a punter in high school Epitropoulos averaged over 42 yards a punt as a junior, and just under 40 yards a punt as a senior. Those numbers aren’t staggering by any means, but having someone to take some kicks away from Basil will hopefully keep his leg fresh enough during games to nail some long field goals if needed in a tight game. If there’s one thing we have all learned in the last decade or so, it’s that the kicking game is nothing to take lightly, we just may need some long kicks to keep the undefeated dream alive.
Edit: In writing this, I somehow blanked on our punter from down under, so look for Frank at WR! Blame it on my sugar high from trying to get my hands on some Twinkies before Brady Hoke bought every last one in the midwest.