Basil Forced OSU's Hand With Camp Performance

Summer camp seems far away during December in Ohio, but it was then that Chillicothe, Ohio, kicker Drew Basil proved his worth to the Ohio State coaches. Find out how Basil earned a scholarship offer through the eyes of the kicker himself as well as his high school coach.

Ohio State had no interest in taking Drew Basil as a member of its class of 2010 for a number of reasons. In addition to the fact that kicker/punter Ben Buchanan is putting the finishing touches on his redshirt freshman year, space is tight in a class that should number around 17 commitments for the Buckeyes

But once the coaching staff saw what the three-star kicker prospect could do, they found themselves with little choice. It was at the tail end of Basil's senior year at Chillicothe, Ohio, that his head coach Bill Davidson was in conversation with OSU defensive coordinator. Heacock had been Davidson's position coach in college, but the prep coach did not like his chances of pitching his star kicker to him.

"He said, ‘He's really, really good,' but they've got (Buchanan)," Davidson told BuckeyeSports.com. "He said, ‘we typically don't give scholarships that close, especially if it's a kid that we think can come in and kick.' He said, ‘We love him, but we don't think Coach Tressel is going to let us give that scholarship away.' "

Undeterred, Basil trekked to Columbus in late June to take part in OSU's kicking camp. A few days later, Davidson received another phone call from Heacock with a decidedly different tone.

"The next thing I know Ohio State has made an offer," Davidson said. "The answer was that, ‘He was just so good that we really didn't feel we had a choice.' "

The calendar had barely flipped over to July before he committed to the Buckeyes.

A 6-0, 180-pound multi-sport athlete who said he enjoys contact, Basil is ranked by Scout.com as the No. 5 kicker in the country and a three-star prospect. Despite the ranking, however, Basil is not a lock to settle in at kicker for the Buckeyes when he arrives on campus next year.

Basil also handles Chillicothe's punting duties and could end up punting for OSU, but his first love is placekicking.

"I've been kicking since I was in fifth grade and I've been kicking on a team since eighth grade and I really enjoy it," he said. "It's something I have a lot of fun doing and I work really hard at it and the right chances came at the right time."

Basil's success to this point has come despite splitting time with his school's soccer team. After three seasons playing midfield and earning second-team all-state honors as a junior, he has switched over to forward for his final season.

Davidson described Basil as a natural competitor.

"We had a bowling team that was one of the best in the state last year and he something like a 220 average," the coach said. "He went out and played golf for the first time in two years and shot a 42 on nine holes."

Kicking a soccer ball and a football require different techniques, he said.

"A lot of people think it's the same but it's quite different once you break it down," he said. "When you watch a soccer player kick a ball, they swing around the ball and in football you need to be able to still swing around it but in a more direct path."

Although Basil said he has the differences under control now, he did have some struggled along those lines last season.

"Last year I found myself kicking the soccer ball like a football a lot," he said. "I probably kicked the ball over the goal 35 times. I think they kind of expect that, but this year I'm doing a lot better."

One of the toughest adjustments for kickers transitioning from high school to college is kicking from the field instead of off a tee. Davidson said Basil uses a tee when kicking on Chillicothe's natural grass home field but kicks off the ground when playing on artificial turf.

Davidson said Basil is not a typical kicker in that he enjoys contact whenever possible. If not for the demands soccer places on his time, Basil would play other positions for the Cavaliers.

"Unlike a lot of kickers, he likes to lift weights," the coach said. "He's one of the strongest kids on the football team. We've run a couple of fakes with him this year and he's picked up yards every time we have.

"He makes it well known on punts and kicks, he hopes everybody else misses. He wants to be that kid to make the tackle."


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