Nuernberger's Work Paying Off

After working closely with personal kicking instructor Dick Seitz for the past year, Buckner (Ky.) Oldham County kicker Sean Nuernberger showed his progress at Ohio State's kicking camp early this week. It turned into a scholarship from the Buckeyes, and Nuernberger quickly accepted. Get the full story inside.

Sean Nuernberger hasn't yet mastered the perfect kicking stroke, but the countless hours he's spent with Dick Seitz, his personal kicking instructor, gave him the necessary tools to accomplish something great.

That's at least what Seitz continued to remind Nuernberger before he attended the One On One Kicking camp at Ohio State starting on Monday, a three-day event that hosted nearly 20 college special teams prospects.

Seitz was right.

A product of Buckner (Ky.) Oldham County, Nuernberger earned a scholarship offer from Ohio State after his impressive performance at the camp and immediately became commitment No. 10 in Ohio State's 2014 recruiting class.

"To be honest with you, Sean expects that to happen and I expect that from my players," Seitz told BSB. "Like I told him, a lot of great things are going to happen. People are going to wonder why isn't he jumping up and down and celebrating and all that kind of stuff, but he should expect those types of things to happen with all of the work we've put in. He deserves this."

Under the direction of Seitz and kicking instructor Mike McCabe, Nuernberger's performance stood out. McCabe remembers one kick where the three-star prospect made perfect contact at roughly 70 percent before burying a 55-yard field goal that cleared the top of the goal posts.

With kicks like that, its no wonder Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer was quick to offer Nuernberger a scholarship. And it's hard to question the track records of Seitz and McCabe, instructors who have worked with some of the most accomplished kickers in college football and the NFL.

This past collegiate season, both the Ray Guy and Lou Groza Award winners – awards given annually to the top punters and kickers in college football – were trained by One On One kicking. NFL kickers Garrett Hartley (Saints), Pat McAfee (Colts), Johnny Hekker (Rams), Marquette King (Raiders), Ryan Allen (Patriots) and Caleb Sturgis (Dolphins) also have histories with the camp.

But more impressive than Nuernberger's performance was his mental toughness, as he performed at his best under the immense pressure of being watched by Meyer and other Ohio State assistant coaches.

"To be a good kicker you have to be consistent in what you're doing and you have to be able to do it without thinking right in the spur of the moment," Seitz said. "I think that's one of the things Sean showed the coaches because they had some very, very good kickers at the camp. They had at least 20 guys that will play Division I ball and what Sean had over the other guys was the mental part of it. He was very disciplined about doing his job.

"I think once they learn to kick and punt, the rest of it is all mental. I do much more than I am sure most other camps do with the mental part of it, and that's what impressed the coaches at Ohio State more than anything else. They saw that that nothing shook up this kid. He just went out and did his job and he didn't pay attention to anything else or any other players, kickers, etc. He focused on his job and that's it."

Nuernberger's commitment to his craft still is at the beginning stages despite earning a scholarship to kick for one of the biggest college football programs in the country. Though it is milestone to stop and appreciate, the Ohio State offer now has Nuernberger understanding that he has a responsibility to work at an even more intense rate.

That means more frequent drives from his Louisville-area home to Cincinnati to work with Seitz, something he has done tirelessly over the course of the past year since making the commitment to dedicate his life to kicking.

"He's the type of young man, when you tell him something, he'll do it," Seitz said. "He's willing to take the risk of making some changes, he knows he's not going to do well at the beginning, and then all of a sudden he starts seeing the changes and he works at it. That's what it takes to be successful, and he has that."

So far that work has paid off for Nuernberger. The level Nuernberger could reach with continued work, however, has yet to be seen.

"What these coaches are looking for are consistency, power and a player," said McCabe, who kicked under Meyer at Illinois State in the late 1980s. "There were a lot of great kickers that were at that camp that we saw that we thought could play anywhere, but he stood out. When you play in a windy stadium like Ohio State's, you have to have that power and that slow rotation on that ball. He has that."

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