New Kid on the Block
By Jessica Weihrauch
Graduate assistant Wes Satterfield has traded in his North Carolina blue coaching hat for one donned in Scarlet and Gray. Satterfield is Ohio State’s new “go-to” guy when it comes to special teams.
After three years of working with quarterbacks and receivers at UNC, Satterfield switched to special teams when he came to OSU. As a quarterback, kicker and punter at Sewanne, a college in his home state of Tennessee, Satterfield gained plenty of experience and understands the importance of the two positions.
Photo by Jim Davidson
“It’s a huge part of the game,” said Satterfield. “When you’re lining up to kick a field goal with about three seconds to go and you got to make it to win, then you better know what you’re doing.”
Not only do you need to know what you’re doing, but you better know how to tackle. Tackling drills have been added to the spring to-do list, a first for OSU kicking specialists and something Satterfield says you can’t do without.
“They’re going to be forced at some point in time to make a tackle,” said Satterfield. “Most of the time they’re going to be the last line of defense, so they’re either going to have to usher somebody out of bounds, or take a proper angle and try to get their head across and make a tackle.”
So far, Satterfield classifies the players as “a very talented group of guys” who are “receptive to anything you tell them.” With that being said, however, there are still some kinks to work out in the spring.
“We just got to work on becoming a little more consistent as a unit and just make the kicks that we’re capable of making and I think we’ll be ok,” said Satterfield.
Practicing early with the team will be important for the younger guys competing for playing time. That is particularly important for Drew Basil who enrolled early at Ohio State. Coming in the spring rather than in June allows for the coaches to better judge a player’s improvement.
“Kicking’s no different in my opinion than any other position on the field,” said Satterfield. “If a high school kid graduated early and he wanted to play a lot in the fall, him coming to spring practice would benefit him tremendously.”
Studying and analyzing film will be important when it comes to deciding who will start in the fall. Satterfield says that each kicker will have to prove himself if he wants to be the “number one guy.”
“Experience is a good part of it but obviously you’ve got to play your best guy too,” said Satterfield. “Each kicker has to approach each kick like it’s their very first and their very last, like it’s their only kick.”
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