Our summer tour of FBS schools looks at the specialists for the Ohio Bobcats.
9/30/13 kicking update:
"After spending all of spring camp, and all of fall camp, trying to identify the team's top kicker, Ohio University football coach Frank Solich said last week that the open competition for the spot was back on. On Monday, Solich said — for now anyway — the debate has been settled. Ohio (3-1) opens up Mid-American Conference play on Saturday with a 2 p.m. kick-off against Akron (1-4, 0-1 MAC) at InfoCision Stadium. The game will also be the first for Ohio sophomore Josiah Yazdani as the Bobcats' top kicker. Yazdani, a third-year sophomore from nearby Albany, was named the 'starter' by Solich in the coach's weekly Monday press conference. 'It seemed to be the time to give Josiah the opportunity. He has earned the kicking spot at this point,' Solich said. Yazdani was used primarily as the team's kick-off specialist during the non-conference season. Given a chance at place-kicking in the second half of Ohio's 38-0 win over Austin Peay on Sept. 21, Yazdani successfully converted both of his PATs and a 47-yard field goal try." "
Competing for the kicking job opened by the graduation of Matt Weller.
"Since the end of the spring season, Ohio kicker Matt Green has also heard from the NCAA about his appeal to play next season. Green, a third-year sophomore from Lexington, Ky., is a transfer from Oklahoma State. He petitioned the NCAA to be eligible to play this season, citing his need to be closer to home for his ailing father. The NCAA granted Green his request, and Green will be viable option in Ohio's place-kicking battle in fall camp."Kicker: Matt Amicone, freshman (Zanesville, OH / Tri-Valley HS)
High school: Played four years of football and one year of basketball ... Captained the football team during the 2010 and 2011 seasons ... Named Second Team All-Ohio during his high school career ... named Kicker of the Year during his high school career ... Set school records for most field goals and most points scoredKicker: Ryan Lichtenstein, grad student (Monroeville, PA / Syracuse)
"When I was finishing up my degree at Syracuse I was training with my former teammates who were training for NFL so you can imagine we were working pretty hard. Since I graduated, I wasn't able to train at Ohio until July when I could start my master's program there. So I was training back in Pittsburgh trying to make all hours of the day count whether that was strength training, hot yoga, spinning, or kicking. Now that I've made it to Ohio I've been working with the other specialists here who have welcomed me better than I could have imagined. My goal for the upcoming season is to do whatever I can to help our team whether that comes from field goals, kickoffs, onside kicks, or punts, it doesn't matter. I'm just here to do what I can for the team and help OU to another successful season."Kicker: Josiah Yazdani, sophomore (Albany, OH / Alexander HS)
2012: Suffered a season-ending knee injuryPunter: Grant Venham, sophomore (Belpre, OH / Vincent Warren HS)
Saw action in all 13 games, totaling 55 punts for 2,174 yards for an average of 39.5
"After the season, they told me they were impressed, that they could trust me after I got a year of experience in. So, after the season, they told they were going to finalize things and give me a full ride."LB/punter: Nieco Teipel, senior (Ft. Mitchell, KY / Beechwood HS)
2012: did not playLong snapper: Miles Chapman, sophomore (Tiffin, OH / Hopewell-Loudon)
2012: Saw action in all 13 games, serving as the squad's long snapper... Finished the year with four tackles.
2011: Did not play on the football team. Wrestled for Ohio.
"During his second collegiate wrestling season, the 6-foot-1 Chapman was holding his own in matches but was having formidable problems maintaining his weight for 165-pound class. 'It was very difficult,' he said. 'I struggled to stay at 165. I weigh around 200 now'.... Last spring, an unexpected opportunity made its appearance and got his attention. 'I knew some of the football players and I had some classes with them,' Chapman said. 'And I found out that the team was needing a long snapper. So one day I was sitting in class with a football player and I told him I used to snap in high school. I kind of thought about trying out, but at first I was hesitant. But then eventually I contacted one of the assistant coaches, who said he would hook me up with Coach Solich'.... There's a saying that proclaims that good things happen when young hang around the weight room. And such was the case for Chapman. 'I was in the weight room one day when Coach Solich saw me and stopped and introduced himself,' Chapman said. 'He asked me if I was interested in trying to snap. I said yeah, then he hands me a ball right there and told me to snap one. So I moved out about 15 yards and snapped a few and it impressed him right there. A couple of days later I was out at spring practice practicing with the team'."