Kicker Fera Likes Ohio State

Ohio State is well-known for its emphasis on special teams under head coach Jim Tressel, so it's not all that surprising that the Buckeyes have interest in Anthony Fera, a highly thought of kicker/punter. What might be surprising, given his home state of Texas, is just how much interest Fera has in OSU. Read on for more.

A trip to the Midwest in late June has things heating up in the recruiting spectrum for Texas kicker Anthony Fera.

Scout does not have any kickers ranked, but Fera is thought to be among the best in the country in the class of 2009. Recently, the 6-2, 230-pounder tripped to Michigan, Penn State and Ohio State and left with some buzz around him.

"It's going really good right now," Fera said. "Right now I don't have any offers, but it's kind of like, for a kicker to get offers right away is kind of unexpected. It usually takes a little while. But I think Michigan, they're really high on me right now, then Penn State and Ohio State. I kicked for them all and they want to think it over and stuff."

The Houston St. Pius X prospect listed those schools, as well as LSU – which he visited earlier in the summer – and Oregon as other programs interested in him.

Despite living in a hotbed of football in Texas that is known for delivering top talent to the state's multiple Division I programs, Fera said that there are definitely things he likes about Ohio State.

"First of all, I really like the coaching staff, so that's a plus," Fera said. "They have good academics. Their football program is probably one of the best, top-five in the country. And I was pretty much raised on Ohio State."

That might sound odd, but Fera has a number of reasons to be pro-Ohio State. A family friend turned him on to Buckeye football while he was a child, and another Buckeye influence has appeared in his life in the Shugarts family.

Of course, lineman J.B. Shugarts is a member of OSU's class of 2008 who committed last spring and began attending classes in January. Fera said his family and the Shugarts are quite literally close, as the two are neighbors.

As a result, Shugarts has been telling him good things about his time in Columbus.

"He really loves it up there," Fera said. "It's probably one of the top programs in the country. He told me he's had a blast, so he would definitely recommend it to me. He said I'd really have a fun time and academics are good."

With Ohio State's class already featuring 23 verbal commitments and the Buckeyes having reeled in a top specialist last season in local product Ben Buchanan, it would be tough for Fera to expect to receive a scholarship offer. However, he said he might be interested in a grayshirt if the Buckeyes offer one eventually.

"It's still a scholarship to Ohio State – it's awesome," said Fera, who unofficially visited Ohio State for the Michigan game in 2006. "I would really consider it over some other schools. Ohio State, personally, is my favorite school. I've grown up liking them, so they're probably my No. 1."

Fera is listed as one of the top 10 kickers and 12 top punters in kicking guru Chris Sailer's rankings for the class, and he will attend an elite camp hosted by Sailer July 19-20.

He already has one all-star game invitation as well, as his performance as his Ohio State camp earned him an invitation to the Under Armour All-America game. Fera left OSU thinking he put on a good show and said he had a good time as well.

"That was actually probably the best I've ever kicked," he said. "I liked it a lot. They took me on a big tour. I really liked campus."

Fera, who has a 58-yard field goal to his credit that he kicked as a freshman, both punts and kicks for St. Pius X but said he was unsure what role he would fill at the collegiate level.

"It just depends on the school," he said. "I don't really have a preference right now, but I'll probably be a better kicker."

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