Westerville Central kicker Ben Buchanan, who is considered one of the top kickers in the country, became the first verbal commitment for Ohio State's 2008 recruiting class and his pledge to the Buckeyes is as solid as it was when he pulled the trigger.
Contributor Frank DiRenna caught up with Buchanan for an update, plus we have exclusive video highlights from ScoutingOhio.com.
Westerville Central High School senior Ben Buchanan realized at an early age his desire to be a Buckeye.
Buchanan, considered one of the top kickers and punters in the country, was the first junior to verbally commit for the 2008 class at Ohio State.
Buchanan was contacted by numerous Division I schools, but Ohio State has always been his top choice.
“I just love the tradition and the people that surround Ohio State,” he said. “When you think Ohio State, you think of Heisman Trophy winners, national championships and obviously great kickers and punters in the last couple of years. I just want to be a part of that and to have the opportunity I feel truly blessed.”
Other schools interested included Florida, Nebraska, Tennessee, Penn State, Stanford, Arizona State, Purdue, Indiana, Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois, Miami University, Ohio, Cincinnati, TCU, Kansas State, Harvard, Dartmouth and Brown.
Last season, Buchanan booted the longest field goal in Ohio at 54 yards in a 7-6 loss to Big Walnut.
He added field goals of 47, 44 and 40 yards, and was 6-of-10 on kicks inside 55 yards. Buchanan was perfect on 14 extra point tries.
Buchanan booted 80 percent (24 of 30) of his kickoffs out of the end zone.
As a punter, he averaged 41 yards per attempt – including 15 inside the 20 – with a top effort of 65 yards.
Buchanan helped guide the Warhawks to the program’s first Ohio Capital Conference title.
For his efforts, he was named first team punter and kicker in the OCC-Central.
“Ben is unbelievable,” Central football coach Bob Fresch said. “He’s one of those kids who works hard at everything. I’ve known that young man for a long, long time. What you see with Ben is what you get. He was that way when he was in elementary school and he hasn’t changed. He’s still the same. He’s very kind-hearted, very thoughtful and hard working.”
“My hat goes off to his parents (Tim and Steli), they have done a wonderful job raising that young man.”
Buchanan is also a standout on the baseball field at Central as the second baseman and pitcher was named to the OCC-Central second team and honorable mention in the district.
Buchanan spent his first weekend after the baseball season punting with former Buckeye Andy Groom, and has been selected as an Offense-Defense Preseason All-American. The Offense-Defense organization has an All-American game each January in the south.
Buchanan also excels in the classroom where he is a member of the National Honor Society.
“It’s nice getting all these athletic awards, but to be recognized for your academics is something really special and it can set you apart,” Buchanan said. “I was very proud of that as well.”
Buchanan, who participated in a volunteer medical missionary to Honduras, Central America earlier this year, is part of the honors and advanced placement curriculum at Central.
Buchanan hopes to be red-shirted his freshman season at Ohio State in order to tackle his early academic requirements.
Before he begins college, Buchanan is looking forward to his senior season at Central.
“Ever since my freshman year, I owe so much to the administration and coaches at Central,” Buchanan said. “They given me such great opportunities and I feel so blessed to be their friend and just be able to play for them.”
“It’s such a blessing to be able to be the first commit for the class of 2008 and have a scholarship offer so early. I want to go out this year and prove that I was worthy of that and just have an awesome senior season.”
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Ohio prospects who want to submit their video to ScoutingOhio.com, you may contact Mark Porter via e-mail at FootballCMS@aol.com for more details on how to contribute video. Or you can send tapes to:
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