Trapasso Excited For Opportunity

Redshirt freshman punter A.J. Trapasso hopes to follow in the footsteps of Andy Groom, B.J. Sander and Kyle Turano this season. Every punter during the Jim Tressel era has had a very good season for the Buckeyes and Trapasso plans on being no different. We caught up to him for his thoughts on the upcoming season and more.

Redshirt freshman A.J. Trapasso is in line to be Ohio State's starting punter this year and from all accounts has been impressive thus far in preseason camp.

On some teams, the punter might be somewhat of an afterthought. But at OSU – where head coach Jim Tressel preaches that the punt is the most important play in football – it is a key position on the team.

Trapasso knows that opportunity is staring him in the face and he plans on making the most of it.

"Yeah, I'm pretty excited," he said. "Going through last year and experiencing everything that I got to experience, in the long run it was probably – obviously getting into trouble (for underage drinking) was a bad thing – but the whole total experience was a good thing."

Trapasso feels good about the way he is kicking the ball. He is by no means a finished product, but he's coming along well.

"I'm feeling very confident right now," he said. "I'm hitting the ball really well. I've got a lot of things I still need to work on, but for the most part, it's going well right now."

Trapasso has personal goals in mind for this season. He wants to follow in the footsteps of the outstanding punters during the Tressel era at OSU.

"My average punt, I just want a 40-plus punt with a 4.4, 4.5 hangtime," Trapasso said. "But net average is what I'm more concerned with. The last three years with Andy (Groom) and B.J. (Sander) and Kyle (Turano) have all gotten the job done. They've led the Big Ten in net punting the last three years. It's my goal to continue that. We say 38 yards is the goal for net punt and I'm looking to do even better than that."

Trapasso was an all-league running back at Pickerington High School, racking up 3,754 yards and 50 touchdowns during his career. And of course he is hoping a couple fake punts are called this year so he can run.

"I think the thought was in the back of (Tressel's) mind when he recruited me," Trapasso said. "He's never come right out and told me, ‘We're definitely going to run you.' I'd like to. I constantly throw hints at those guys. But I'm here for a reason and that's to punt. If we end up doing any fakes and I can run it a little, that's just icing on the cake."

Trapasso has only been in the program for a year and a half (he graduated high school early and participated in spring drills in 2004) but he understands that this year's Ohio State squad could be on the verge of greatness.

"Looking at the past teams, when we did studies on the weightlifting and the speed tests and the records that have been broken, this team is edging everyone else out in terms of statistics," Trapasso said. "Even the 2002 team. So, with the speed and the talent and the size of the guys that we have on this team, anything can happen right now."

Trapasso was asked if he is looking forward to anything in particular about the 2005 season.

"Well, I'm not overlooking the Miami game," he said. "Pending that I have the start for the game, that will be my first start. But that Texas game is going to be pretty exciting. I'm definitely looking forward to that."

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