Ohio State’s 2016 recruiting class — the country’s fourth-ranked class — featured 25 signees from 11 states and many of those players are expected to contribute to the Buckeyes on-field success early in their careers.
Join Landof10.com as we introduce you to the next wave of Buckeyes in our Young Bucks series. Today’s focus is punter Drue Chrisman.
Who is Drue Chrisman?
Urban Meyer is not Jim Tressel, and never has been mistaken for him, but that doesn’t mean Meyer doesn’t understand the value of — and need for — a big-time punter. Drue Chrisman, the country’s top-ranked punter in the 2016 recruiting class, fit that bill and was offered early (March 2015) by Meyer and Ohio State.
- Height: 6-foot-3
- Weight: 200
- Number: 91
- Hometown: Cincinnati
- High School: La Salle
- Composite Ranking: 1 (Punter)
- High School Highlights
While it was presumed that Chrisman would be a surefire commit for Ohio State, that was not really the case. He also had scholarship offers — and made visits to — Florida State, UCLA, and perhaps most importantly, BYU. Chrisman, a devout Morman, looked long and hard at the options before him but ultimately decided to stay home in Ohio.
“They have great academics. I’m sure anywhere I would have gone would have had that, but just the comfortability of it,” Chrisman told elevenwarriors.com on the value of staying home. “Being two hours away (from Cincinnati is nice), having your parents and friends be able to come watch the game, and maybe get away for a home-cooked meal every now and then. I just felt at home, and you don’t get more comfortable than home.”
What does he bring to Ohio State?
Chrisman is the next in a long line of Buckeyes punters who are not just great kickers, but great athletes. A former high school quarterback, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound punter may not be able to throw much anymore (he had Tommy John surgery on his elbow after his freshman year of high school), but he’s turned himself into one of the country’s most consistent prospects on special teams.
“The biggest difference between myself and other punters is my consistency,” Chrisman said. “I’m sure someone has a stronger or more accurate leg than I do. I got my ranking by having very few bad hits at the camps I went to, which kept my average high.”
Those camps were what helped this freshman — who will wear No. 91 at Ohio State, continuing a run of Buckeyes kickers wearing unusually high numbers — become the best punter in American as a senior at La Salle High School. When the placekicker for the Lancers was injured in 2015, Chrisman filled in there as well, knocking in 38 of 40 extra point attempts and crushing a game-winning field goal against crosstown rival Colerain to help secure a 39-36 win in a rivalry game.
Since he arrived in June, Chrisman has also brought some pretty great viral videos to Ohio State. To be a specialist in Columbus, you’ve got to have a unique personality and he’s certainly got that.
Haters gonna say it's fake… pic.twitter.com/rUt6z7oG3p
— Drue Chrisman (@DChrisman18) July 8, 2016
Will he play as a freshman?
Unless something happens to keep Buckeyes senior punter Cameron Johnston off the field this fall, it’s very unlikely that Chrisman will play for Ohio State this year, and that’s totally fine with him. In fact, one of the key reasons he chose to play college football with the Buckeyes was knowing he’d get a chance to get acclimated to college behind Johnston.
Chrisman is not currently on scholarship at Ohio State, though he is on the football team. Essentially a preferred walk-on right now, Chrisman is saving the Buckeyes one roster slot until the winter semester begins, at which point he’ll be placed on scholarship.