Buchanan to Carry On Kicking Tradition

Westerville Central kicker-punter Ben Buchanan became the first commit for the 2008 Ohio State recruiting class. Buchanan is one of the top kicking prospects in the country and he plans on doing all of the kicking chores for Jim Tressel and the Buckeyes during his career. Bill Greene has more on this amazing specialist.

Everyone that follows recruiting knows that the Ohio State Buckeyes are off to a fast start to assembling the class of 2008. The first commit for Jim Tressel was Westerville Central kicker-punter Ben Buchanan. Buchanan, one of the top kickers in the country, is being counted on to one day be the Buckeye punter, kicker and kick-off specialist.

"I'm not sure what their plan is as far as my first year," Buchanan explained. "I'm not sure if the Ohio State coaches will want me to red-shirt or not. I'm looking at punting my first two years and then doing punting, kick-offs and place kicking my junior and senior year, after Aaron Petrey graduates. I'm just not sure if red-shirting is in the picture and I would really be in favor of that. It just depends on what the coaches want and I'll do whatever I can to help out."

Buchanan recently won the kicking contest at the Buckeye Kicking Academy, an event hosted by former Ohio State kicker Dan Stultz. Buchanan won the contest by nailing a 58-yard field goal that observers said would have been good from 65 yards. The win was the second in as many years for Buchanan. He also won the kicking contest at the Ohio State senior camp by hitting a 63-yard field goal. Buchanan has a 54 yards field goal in a game that is believed to be the longest ever in Ohio for a high school junior. The Ohio high school record is a 60-yard kick by former Buckeye B. J. Sander. Buchanan has a chance to eclipse that record in his senior season.

"Winning the competition at the Buckeye Academy was nice because of my relationship with Dan Stultz," Buchanan said. "He's a great guy and we've become really good friends. I've worked with him since I was in 6TH grade. Now I can call him up anytime I want and to be able to work with him and to have that knowledge available is helpful. I consider him my mentor. I really think his help will benefit me greatly in the future."

Buchanan is well known for being able to kick a football but this youngster is also a fine all-around athlete. He will play wide receiver this year and is also a fine baseball player. Buchanan takes pride in being more than just a kicker. He knows that as a kick-off man he is responsible to help tackle the returner.

"I'm a varsity baseball player and I like playing wide receiver," he noted. "I know in my heart that I'm a football player, not just a kicker. It's important to me to be an athlete when I'm on the field. I lift weights just like all our football players. I know how important that is if I'm the guy who needs to make the tackle and I know I have that ability to get the job done.

Buchanan is aware of the importance Jim Tressel places on special teams. He admitted that was a factor in him deciding to become a Buckeye. He also talked about what impressed him about Jim Tressel as a human being.

"I've always been an Ohio State fan," Buchanan stated. "Ever since coach Tressel came to Ohio State from Youngstown State I really gravitated toward the team because of the leader that he is. He's really a Godly person and a man of faith, and I really admire that in a coach. With all the success he's had and all the attention he places on special teams, what kicker wouldn't want to go there? I'm really excited about being able to play for him."

As the first member of the current recruiting class Buchanan has been instrumental in trying to influence other recruits into joining him at Ohio State. He spoke about his relationship with some of his future classmates and of their efforts in building a great class.

"At senior camp I hung out with Jake Stoneburner and Mike Adams," Buchanan said of his future teammates. "I think we're going to have a super class. I'm involved in trying to encourage other recruits to come to Ohio State. It was fun hanging out with Terrelle Pryor and watching all of us try to talk him into becoming one of us. I think that's important to show off your university and that's easy to do with Ohio State. I think it's important to show the other recruits that this is a great place to be. Mike and Jake will be playing against my high school this year so we talked about that a lot. I've gotten really close with Michael Brewster and we talk pretty often. The same thing with DeVier Posey and J. B. Shugarts. They all seem like great guys and we feel we're building something special."

Ben Buchanan also spoke about the people in his life that mean a lot to him. He is a very intelligent and humble individual that recognizes the importance of thanking those that are helping him succeed.

"When I'm asked about who my hero is I have to say my parents," Buchanan explained. "They have always been there for me. They are so supportive and I realize how blessed I am to have them in my life. I'm just so tight with my family and to have that support system at home is really important to me. I could never thank them enough."

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