Bloodied Toe Not Likely To Stop Pretorius

Fifth-year senior kicker Ryan Pretorius was impressive in Ohio State's season-opening victory over Youngstown State, making four field goals in the 43-0 win. However, things were not as good for the South African after the game. Find out what happened to Pretorius and what his status is for this weekend.

A key Buckeye did not participate in Ohio State's practice on Monday because of a foot injury. Nor did he take reps on Tuesday.

And no, this player is not Chris "Beanie" Wells. He is placekicker Ryan Pretorius, who did not hurt himself during the game - he slipped and cut his big right toe on a shower drain following the win.

"Typical kicker injury," Pretorius joked.

All was going well for Pretorius prior to his postgame shower. He had an impressive 2008 season debut Saturday against Youngstown State. The fifth-year senior made all four of his field goal attempts in the 43-0 victory. His performance, which included field goals of 28, 31, 26 and 50 yards, marked the eighth time an OSU kicker had four field goals in a game. The last time that happened came in 2005 when Josh Huston connected on five field goals vs. Texas.

Pretorius' 50-yard kick was also two yards shy of his career-best, a 52 yard kick in 2006 vs. Cincinnati.

"I think Ryan Pretorius was solid," OSU head coach Jim Tressel said following the victory. "It starts with the snap and excellent protection, but his mechanics were right on and we'll watch the film and see if that's not exactly the case, but I think it is."

After Tressel and the team captains spoke with the media, Pretorius showed up with a bare right foot with a bandaged big toe. He told reporters later in the week that he would be fine.

"I wanted to kick Monday," Pretorius said. "The doctors told me I could kick Tuesday, and Coach Tressel told me that he's the big boss and I can kick Wednesday. I'm listening to him and I'll kick then.

"I just want to get out there and kick because it's so frustrating not to be able to do so. It's like a kid in a candy store and his mom won't let him buy anything."

The cut did not require stitches. Instead, Pretorius said trainers put four butterfly strips on the wound and would bandage the foot when he returns to the field. The injury should not keep him out off the field Saturday - the place where Pretorius feels the most comfortable.

"I love it here," Pretorius said. "I'm 29 now and I wish I had another five years here. I'm so blessed to be in the position I'm in now."

The eldest Buckeye took the long road to Columbus. The former rugby player hails from South Africa and came to America after playing rugby in England, France and Spain. After deciding that his future was not in rugby, family friend - and NFL kicker - Gary Anderson helped get Pretorius into college football as a place kicker.

"He said I should go to the next level and prove myself," Pretorius said. "He pointed me in the right direction and has been a great help."

Pretorius was eventually pointed towards Ohio State. He walked on in 2004 and eventually earned a scholarship. In 2007, Pretorius beat out incumbent kicker Aaron Pettrey and has proven to be a solid kicker. He made 18 of his 23 attempts with a long of 50.

"I really, really believed in my own ability, and I knew I could somehow get this (chance) someway," Pretorius said. "The way last season went for me I was so grateful. I knew with the help of God, and if I met the right people and got the opportunity, I knew I could do it."

Recently Pretorius was honored for his efforts against the Penguins when he was named one of the Lou Groza Award's "Stars of the Week," along with Utah senior Louis Sakoda and Alabama junior Leigh Tiffin. Sakoda connected on field goals of 28, 43, 41 and 53 yards in Utah's 25-23 win at Michigan, spoiling Rich Rodriguez's debut as the Wolverines' head coach. Tiffin also made four kicks (from 54, 21, 34 and 26 yards) in the Crimson Tide's 34-10 victory over Clemson at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

Pretorius is on the preseason watch list for the Groza Award and was a semifinalist in 2007. The marketing major hopes to continue his football career after his time with the Buckeye ends, but for how he's happy to be in Columbus.

"This has been like a fairy tale for me," Pretorius said. "I couldn't be happier."

Buckeye Sports Top Stories