One-on-One With Quinn Sharp

No one needed to make Quinn Sharp's job any easier. But this fall, the Oklahoma State senior punter/kicker can walk up to kickoffs with even more ease. The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a change this season that requires teams to kick off from the 35-yard line – five yards closer to the opponents' end zone than last season.

In 2012, Sharp led the nation in touchbacks with 61. The next closest kicker was 23 behind.

After a three-year playing career at OSU, Sharp enters this season with a lengthy résumé of awards and accolades: 2010-11 All-American, 2011 First Team All-Big 12 kicker and punter, and the list goes on.

He sat down to talk with to talk about his career, what he's looking forward to, and the new rule change:

What's it been like to watch the emergence of Cowboy football on the national scene?
Sharp: It's crazy. I grew up in high school playing baseball, football and golf. I really wasn't into full-on football. Then I started going to camps and figured I might get a scholarship. I didn't really know much about the Division I football scene. But you come here and you learn everything so quickly. It's so fast paced how everything unfolds. It's been a fun ride and we've amped it up each year. Since I've stepped on campus, we've had nine wins or more and hopefully we can keep it that way. When you go to those BCS games and those nationally televised games, it's fun.

As a member of special teams, how often have you interacted with members of the offense and defense throughout your OSU career?
Sharp: We have great team chemistry here and everyone gets along with everybody. And that's the thing about special teams; you have guys from both sides of the ball playing with you. You're always around those guys in meetings and stuff. We're always joking. We lift with the defense, so we get to know a lot of those guys. And we have a close locker room – nobody is really secluded, people don't get counted out. We're all together in this.

Does it feel strange to be a senior?
Sharp: It is weird, because if feels like the other day that I was moving into my freshman apartment. Now I'm five years down the road and this is it, my last go around. It is a little nerve-wracking, because reality is starting to set in. But I'm ready for it. This has been a fun chapter in my life. I hope I can continue great things moving on.

With everything you've accomplished, what motivates you?
Sharp: It's just the guys you play with every day. We all play the game to reach bigger and better things, but it's fun. We get out there and we live for those Saturdays and those guys next to you. For me, I've got personal goals and I want to win personal awards, but at the same time, it's a team game and we all love playing it.

What's your reaction to the NCAA's new kickoff rules?
Sharp: It's not something I wanted to happen. It just levels the playing field. You're going to see more touchbacks. But you have to deal with it – it's what they want. It's a safety issue in a lot of aspects. I think you'll see a change in a lot of areas, but we'll see what happens with it.

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