The Ohio State football team must not be very secure in its kicking game because they just brought in a transfer kicker.
This was something that I was worried about. I had concerns about the kicking game after Jake Seibert looked shaky late last season and then again in the Spring Game. It’s hard to replace a kicker the caliber of Blake Haubeil. Ryan Day was clearly thinking the same thing.
That’s why he went into the transfer portal and grabbed a kicker with some experience. Ohio State has landed kicker Noah Ruggles from the portal. Ruggles is transferring from North Carolina and will be immediately eligible to play for the Buckeyes this season.
Ruggles only played one game in 2020 and made an extra point. In 2019, he played in all of North Carolina’s games. He did struggle a bit, only hitting19 of his 27 kicks. That’s only good enough for 70.4% of his field-goal attempts. He did make all 45 of his extra points though.
Ruggles does not have as big of a leg as Haubeil did. In fact, he has missed all three attempts that he has tried over 50 yards in his career. He’s only hit 3-6 field goals from 40-49 yards as well. The further back you go, the less accurate he seems to get.
This move is ultimately to put some pressure on Seibert. Day clearly isn’t comfortable with either of these kickers right now, so he wants to put them in a competition. It will be very interesting how he holds this competition as the Fall rolls around and the Buckeyes begin practice again.
I honestly don’t know who’s going to win the kicking competition. You don’t often bring in a transfer kicker for him to sit on the bench. But If Ruggles can’t find some better consistency, that’s exactly where he’ll be. The Buckeyes can’t afford to leave points on the board.
This is one of many battles to watch as Fall practice gets underway in August.