Place kicker Aaron Pettrey has had a long road to a starting position for Ohio State. As a 5th year senior this year he is the main kicker in the rotation and was the main kicker at the OSU kick scrimmage this past week where he kicked the winning field goal. He took on a bigger role last season moving from just kicking off to also attempting longer field goals. This year he should handle the kickoffs for the third year in a row and also handle all field goal attempts for the Buckeyes.
By Steve Patterson
Excited for Senior Opportunity
As a red-shirt freshman Pettrey was able to do both kickoffs and field goals and is excited about returning to the dual role as a senior. “I loved doing both field goals and kickoffs my freshman year,” Pettrey said to reporters after the kick scrimmage. “I liked just being out there all the time and I can’t wait to try it again this year.” Pettrey's winning field goal from the 27 yards out sent the Gray team walking back to the Woody Hayes Facility as is tradition in spring scrimmages.
Competition Was Good
South American Junior Ryan Petorius took the place kicking duties away from Pettrey in 2007 but Pettrey looks back on those days as a learning experience.“I liked the competition,” he explained. “I liked battling the old-man (Pretorius). We had a good time and I think it made us both better.”
Pettrey will compete against a sophomore and freshman this spring in Maryland native Devin Barclay and Central Ohio punter/kicker Ben Buchanan. "Ben and Devin are going to keep pushing me and making sure I get better,” He told everyone about the spring competition. Pettrey could also be in the mix for punting duties as Ohio State lost their starting punt to graduation, AJ Trapasso, this past winter.
Accuracy a Focus for Pettrey
One of the things Pettrey has learned about his accuracy is striking the ball solidly instead of putting all his leg into it the ball each time. “But when I went back and looked at tape of myself last year I saw that I was trying to kick it too hard sometimes, especially on kickoffs. This year I’m going to try and slow it down and be more solid behind the ball. I’m lucky enough to have those guys looking over my shoulder and making me better.”