Jon Thoma – Specialists Are Solid
We had a chance to catch-up with Ohio State alumni punter Jon Thoma this week. He covers the kickers and the punters, one special long snapper, his NFL experience, and what fans can expect from the Buckeyes this year in this exclusive interview.
Have you had the opportunity to work with any NFL teams since last season ended?
“I went to mini-camp with the Browns and it went well. They have an established punter however. I learned a lot and am currently staying in shape and working but hoping for another chance with someone.”
Have you had the chance to attend Ohio State team events this fall? The team is in solid hands with Buchanan, Erwin and Basil?
“I have not been back to Ohio State recently but the guys are very excited and confident about the season. Ben [Buchannan] had a rough spring but I have heard that he has gotten into great shape and turned it around. All signs point towards a successful season for him as long as he can keep his nerves under control.”
“Derek [Erwin] is a more than capable back-up and a hard worker. Drew is the best freshman kicker I have ever seen and will do a great job from the moment his number is called, but I would still give the nod to Devin [Barclay]. He has big game experience, both with the Buckeyes and in soccer, and is more than capable and ready to be a big-time weapon for this year's team.”
“Also, third year starting long-snapper Jake McQuaide can not be overlooked. He is the unquestioned leader of the specialists and those that know him know that no one works harder than him. He has bulked up to around 240 lbs and is snapping great so a future playing on Sundays is not out of the question, if he has a successful season.”
“I'm excited to watch them, this team is the most talented since '06 from top to bottom and the sky is truly the limit. Hopefully they can feed off the buzz rather then let it get to their heads, and I am confident that they will do so because of the great senior leaders and coaches.”