Trapasso Ready To Enroll, Start Spring Football

Pickerington Central standout A.J. Trapasso passed up the hoopla of his senior year to graduate early and join the OSU football team. He is waiting for the start of spring quarter classes on Monday and the beginning of spring football on Thursday. Click here for more.

On Monday, A.J. Trapasso will take his first class as a college student. A week from today, he will participate in his first practice session as a college football player.

So, it is understandable if Trapasso feels like he is making that slow climb up the first big hill on The Beast at Kings Island: The roller coaster ride for this high school senior is about to begin at Ohio State.

"It is kind of exciting," Trapasso said. "I am still busy getting everything taken care of here at the last second. I'm getting everything I need to take. I'm ready to go. I'm thinking this will be a good experience."

Trapasso graduated early from nearby Pickerington Central High School so he could enroll in time for spring quarter and begin competing for the vacant punting job. OSU opens spring practice next Thursday and Trapasso knows many will be watching him to see if he has what it takes to step in and replace outgoing starter B.J. Sander, the reigning Ray Guy Award winner.

"I think it will be all new and at the same time pretty familiar," Trapasso said. "I know the game will be a lot faster than what I'm used to."

Although Trapasso was not able to join the Buckeyes for winter conditioning, he has worked informally with Sander and former OSU All-American Andy Groom on his technique.

"My style before I got into work outs with B.J. Sander and Andy Groom was a little bit different," he said. "They really helped me and showed me how I have to get the ball off quicker. I've been working with them since February."

Although OSU recruited Trapasso with the idea he could be the punter this year, he understands the job will not simply be handed to him. Senior Josh Huston, the backup kicker the last three years, will also get a look. Wrestler-turned-football player J.D. Bergman and any number of promising walk-ons will also be outfitted with helmets and pads this spring as well.

"It is an open job and I'm sure there are a lot of people looking at this as quite an opportunity," Trapasso said. "I think my main competition will be Josh Huston. But I think I've got one of the better opportunities because I'm on scholarship."

Trapasso said he is in awe thinking about the chance to play for the Buckeyes.

"I don't think the actual experience of what it will be like has sunk in," he said. "I understand it is there in front of me. I am going to work hard to achieve it. I know I have to this spring and this summer."

Still, Trapasso admits it is hard to walk away from all the fun activities most high school seniors get to experience in the spring.

"This is something I have had a hard time getting used to," he said. "I know I will miss out on a lot of fun things like spring break and the senior trip. Hopefully I will make it back for my senior prom. But that's O.K. For the most part, I am ready to go."

The 6-1, 215-pound Trapasso earned All-Ohio honors as a kicker in Division I as a junior. His high school then split into two schools, dropping Pickerington Central (the old school just renamed) into Division II. As a senior, Trapasso led Central to a 9-2 record and a playoff berth. He rushed for 1,520 yards and scored 24 touchdowns. He also averaged 41.4 yards as a punter, earning All-Ohio honors as a punter this season in D-II.

Trapasso holds 14 records at Pickerington in categories ranging from scoring to rushing to kicking and punting.

He graduated with a 3.0 GPA and scored a 23 on the ACT. Trapasso, who boasts 4.5-second speed in the 40, verbaled to OSU Dec. 19.

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