One-on-One With Matt Ammendola

Matt Ammendola made a splash on Wednesday when his short video of trick field goals and drop kicks made it on Bleacher Report. Ammendola, one of the top kickers in Pennsylvania, made a commitment to walk-on at Oklahoma State. The 5-10, 185-pound kicker/punter from North Pa. High School in the Philadelphia suburb of Lansdale spoke to us about coming halfway across the country to school.

You have something in common with the Cowboys current kicker Ben Grogan in that you both can drop kick. Your video made quite the impression on Oklahoma State fans.
MA: First, I've watched Grogan's videos and watched him last season and he's a good kicker. I watched after they returned that punt and then drove down in overtime (in the Bedlam game), and he hit the 25-yard field goal to win it. That must have been a great feeling. As for the tape, one of the reporters I've dealt with is from Bleacher Report and he asked me to put together a tape with a montage of trick kicks and I only had two days to do it. I didn't expect it to cause this much commotion. I didn't know much about Bleacher Report, but apparently it has been seen in Oklahoma and my family and friends think it's a big deal.

Okay, so when did you commit to Oklahoma State?
MA: It was about two months ago. The whole recruiting process for me and the level of kickers that I was competing with it was long and it really didn't go well for me. In the end I had Oklahoma State and a few other D-1 schools, and Oklahoma State was a school that I liked and they had my major.

What is your major?
MA: Physical therapy, that has a lot to do with rehabilitation.

Now you are really good on kickoffs. I think that may be a major reason that Oklahoma State was interested in you. Is that okay with you that you might break in as a kickoff specialist?
MA: I spoke with their special teams coach, Robbie Discher, and he contacted me back in November and asked me to come on as a walk-on. But I was looking at other schools and other options. I really like to kick field goals, so I wasn't sure I wanted to be more of a kickoff guy.

Okay, so what happened from there?
MA: He (Discher) contacted me again in January and told me that their kicker had surgery for a hip flexor. I thought maybe then it would be a good time to go there. The other schools I was looking at and liked were East Carolina and Washington State. I came out and I viewed the campus and it felt like home to me. I know it is halfway across the country but something about Oklahoma State, it felt like home.

So when will you get to Stillwater?
MA: I'm flying in on the week of July 14. I'm excited to come out and it's fun to see different places.

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