Jim Knowles is in his bag, having a kicker switch positions on his Ohio State football defense.
After hardly playing at all the last two seasons, Ohio State football kicker Jake Seibert is looking to emerge as a cornerback on Jim Knowles’ first Buckeyes defense.
“He wanted to kind of bring some different value,” said Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day to Joey Kaufman of The Columbus Dispatch about Seibert. “He’s still going to work on kicking and do that part of it, but he’s also going to be able to help us at other positions.”
Seibert played cornerback and wide receiver in high school in his native Cincinnati. To date, his most notable playing time as a kicker at Ohio State came in the national championship game vs. Alabama in 2020 when starter Blake Haubeil was rule out for the title bout after having tested positive for COVID. Seibert did not attempt a single field goal for the Buckeyes last college season.
This may be a way of extracting further value on the roster, but this position switch is an odd one.
Ohio State football: Jim Knowles has a kicker switching to cornerback for defense
Though Seibert will continue to work with the kickers in at least some capacity, he may be better served as some much-needed depth in the Ohio State secondary. Last year’s kicker Noah Ruggles was not with the Buckeyes “during spring practice for personal reasons, but returned at the end of the semester.” Ohio State is also waiting for former USC kicker Parker Lewis to be deemed eligible.
Kaufman pointed out the Buckeyes are especially thin at cornerback, as they only have six players on scholarship at that particular position group. With the likes of Sevyn Banks, Lejond Cavazos and Ryan Watts having all transferred this offseason, Ohio State could use a kicker playing some cornerback more than you could realize. Seibert is listed at both positions entering fall camp.
Ultimately, Ohio State will only go as far as Knowles’ defense will take them. The offense may be incendiary, but if the defense cannot stop a nosebleed, Ohio State will probably not win every shootout it finds itself in. With this being a national title or bust-type of season for the Buckeyes, so much pressure is on Day, Knowles and the rest of the Ohio State defense to get this thing right.
It may be very Big 12 to move a kicker to cornerback, but the Buckeyes have a Big Ten title to win.
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