August 20, 2009

Pettrey hopes to solidify himself as a starter

COLUMBUS - As the downpour of rain continued to grow thicker at Ohio Stadium on Wednesday, Ohio State kicker Aaron Pettrey knocked through a 48-yard field goal in wet conditions to send the Gray team to a 27-24 victory over the Scarlet in the Buckeye kick scrimmage.

It's those types of memories that Pettrey hopes to make a mainstay in his senior season.

"Right now I am just trying to take it one day at a time and just set my goals for this season and just out this team as much as I can," Pettrey said following the scrimmage. "Just being a senior, just caring for the other seniors trying to send us out on a good note. That's my only goal."

Often overlooked, the place kicker is often put in the position where he is the most important player on the field in specific games.

Particularly at Ohio State - a team that prides itself on good defense - every three points matters. For Pettrey, that's something he takes pride in.

When it comes to kicking in certain conditions, well, he was just happy to get some live experience with the rain while he could still stand to learn from it.

"We haven't kicked in rain and I am sure we will see it this season," Pettrey said of Wednesday's rain. "So, I really wasn't really worried about it. I just try and do the same thing in rain. It is not going affect me."

While it hasn't quite been announced who the starting place kicker will be, more than likely it seems it will end up with Pettrey. Even so, Pettrey doesn't feel as if he has won the starting kicking job just yet.

In fact, he may feel like he could be trailing his competitors, Ben Buchanan and Devin Barclay.

"Right now I may be third in the kicking battle," Pettrey said. "I think Ben and Devin are a little more accurate than me right now but we are all right there together. We are all pushing each other. We are all swinging really well and hitting the ball solid. I am not the starter, we are all battling right now."

In the spirit of competition Pettrey saw some good battle with his teammates, which could be a reason the senior has been feeling pressure, particularly out on the kick scrimmages.

"I love these things and hate them at the same time," Pettrey said. "I'm glad I never have to do one again. I think I feel more pressure out here than in a game…. I like them, but I'm glad this is my last one."

Whether or not Pettrey wants to admit that the coaching staff could be leaning toward him as a starter he has been getting some good feedback.

"He has established himself as a successful kickoff guy and place kick guy," said graduate assistant Chad Rogosheske, who spends most of his time coaching the special teams. "I know in the past we split it up a little bit, but right now being a senior he can handle both and do well at both for us."

Plus, Pettrey's range should be a plus for him this season.

"I hit a 61 (yarder) this morning in the scrimmage when we were inside, so probably with a little breeze, 63 is probably maxing out," Pettrey said.

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