Kickers are stereotypically viewed as the least athletic members of a football team. That’s what makes Ohio State placekicker Jake Seibert’s recent position change to some of football’s more athletic positions so surprising.
When the Buckeyes began preseason camp on Thursday morning, it raised some eyebrows when Seibert was listed as a cornerback on Ohio State’s official roster instead of his familiar position of kicker. But once practice began, it was clear there was no typo – Seibert was indeed working out with the cornerbacks, according to Ohio State reporter Dan Hope.
It's true: Jake Seibert, who has been a kicker for his first two years at Ohio State, was practicing at cornerback today. https://t.co/o1Ti28UQmR
— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) August 4, 2022
While the position change is certainly surprising for the third-year kicker, it’s not completely out of the blue either.
Seibert was ranked as the No. 2 kicker in the 2020 recruiting class and made headlines for his ability to consistently hit field goals from more than 60 yards as a high schooler, but he also had plenty of athleticism, playing cornerback and emerging as the top receiver for his La Salle High School in Cincinnati.
Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said that Seibert will continue to work on kicking, but he wanted to try a different position after playing corner and receiver in high school.
The Buckeyes’ current depth chart is also a likely reason for the position switch. Seibert is in his third season and has yet to emerge as the team’s starting placekicker. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes have brought in multiple transfer kickers: Noah Ruggles from North Carolina and Parker Lewis from USC, though Lewis is not yet eligible.
Still, the bizarre position switch caught the attention of the college football world, especially considering Ohio State’s defensive struggles last season.
Alabama gets Caleb Downs… we convert kickers to corners and rbs to linebackers
— Official Ohio State DG (@DylanEveryday) August 4, 2022
Good to see that Ohio State has some extra talent coming in at CB.
The Buckeyes were the 97th best passing defense in the country, while being in the worst passing conference last year. At least they’re getting some reinforcements. https://t.co/W2Apih1IPl
— Notre Dame Recruiting (@NDrecruiting01) August 4, 2022
Hey guys this why recruiting matters lol https://t.co/gq5TI0zhtn
— 7 forever (@blackgodwayne) August 4, 2022
The state of the defense cannot be this bad dawg https://t.co/48Ao63v5hy
— ICE (@Makyle_Ice) August 4, 2022
People freaking out about this probably doesn't know Seibert was a really good WR at LaSalle HS. Not far fetched he could be a quality player in the secondary. https://t.co/gKwD9r8Ebh
— KJ (@Buckeye45) August 4, 2022
— Buckeye Chalktalk (@BucksChalktalk) August 4, 2022
Man what? https://t.co/ONojpRxzfp
— Lord Biggeth Small (@MrSuperJay) August 4, 2022
While it’s unlikely Seibert will play a significant role in the Buckeye defense this fall, a kicker switching to cornerback is certainly a storyline to watch.