Pettrey, a 2004 graduate of Raceland, Ky., High School, verbaled to OSU last year but did not sign on signing day. The original plan was for him to delay his enrollment until this January. But Pettrey told Bucknuts.com today that he will take more college classes near his hometown before enrolling at OSU in the spring.
"Right now, I'm going to take two more classes at Ohio U.-Southern (in Ironton) and then transfer in to Ohio State in March," Pettrey said. "I took two classes at Ashland (Ky.) Community College in the fall and got A's in both of them. They said I should take two more classes, then I would get in to OSU in March.
"I've been talking to (academic counselor) Darin Meeker and (assistant coach) Doc Tressel. They said that's what I should do."
From Ohio State's perspective, delaying Pettrey's enrollment another quarter could give the coaching staff another scholarship spot to work with between now and signing day. The Buckeyes could now sign as many as 20 high school seniors in February. (They have 14 verbals currently.)
The 6-3, 195-pound Pettrey said he enjoyed watching Mike Nugent end his career in fine style as OSU's career scoring leader with 15 points in the team's Alamo Bowl win over Oklahoma State Wednesday night.
"He had a great career there," Pettrey said. "He's really something. It was great to see him be able to set the all-time career scoring record."
By enrolling in time for spring quarter (which starts March 28), Pettrey would be able to join the competition for the kicking job during spring football.
"They told me when I come in I would have a good chance to win the starting job for kickoffs or field goals," Pettrey said. "I've been working out a lot down here. I know Josh Huston is trying to get a sixth year. They also have the kid from South Africa (walk-on Ryan Pretorious) and (Jonathan) Skeete. I know there will also be another walk-on or two as well."
Pettrey said he is fine with waiting until the spring to enroll.
"I would like to try and get up there and get around campus and get a chance to kick inside the indoor facility," he said.
As a prep senior in 2003, Pettrey hit 8 of 13 field goals with a state-record long kick of 58 yards. He also played quarterback at Raceland, setting a state record for completion percentage (71.3 percent with 32 touchdowns) as a junior. He threw for 21 touchdowns as a senior. On special teams, he recovered four onside kicks himself and also averaged 42 yards per punt.
"In one game, he broke the Kentucky state record with a 58-yard field goal," said Raceland coach Randy Vanderhoof. "In that same game, he had a 53-yarder and hit three kickoffs through the uprights."
Pettrey is also a fine basketball player (averaging 15 points per game) and baseball player (.400 average).
Pettrey caught the eye of the OSU staff was at the kicking camp in the summer of 2003. Out of 200 place kickers, he was rated the No. 1 kicker. He had also been to the Ray Guy camp for the last three years.
Pettrey received offers from Eastern Kentucky and Murray State and Tennessee was in contact and wanted him to come to a game for a visit. He graduated with a 3.0 GPA and scored a 17 on the ACT.