Drue Chrisman waited a year to get a chance to punt for Ohio State. When his first big moment finally arrived, his legs almost betrayed him.

The redshirt freshman managed a shaky 40-yarder against Indiana.

“That first punt, I had the jitters going,” Chrisman said. “I think I almost fell down after I punted. My legs were a little numb.”

Since then, Chrisman has been nearly flawless for the Buckeyes. Seven of his 10 punts have been fair-caught. His net yardage of 45.5 yards ranks 10th nationally.

On a team that still has many question marks, Chrisman has done much to ease concern about the loss of four-year starter Cameron Johnston.

“There were definitely some big shoes to fill,” Chrisman said. “Cameron had an incredible career, and my goal was to have no drop-off from that.”

The Cincinnati LaSalle graduate was the top-rated punter in the 2016 recruiting class and is a scholar-athlete, but he said the year adjusting to college and learning from Johnston was invaluable.

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“Going from high school to college is a big transition, football-wise and class-wise,” he said. “Having a year to train under, in my opinion, the best punter in college was a huge benefit.”

Chrisman has a conventional punting style but has added Johnston’s rugby style to his repertoire if an opponent’s punt-block scheme requires it. Chrisman knows he is in the spotlight, not just because he is replacing Johnston but because Ohio State coach Urban Meyer takes a particular interest in punting.

“He told me in recruiting that punting is kind of his baby,” Chrisman said. “Every single day we’ll go through the film and look at the numbers. He handpicked me and I feel I have a lot of respect for that. He’s a great punting coach and he has made me a better punter.”

Even before he kicked in a game, Chrisman gained some notoriety because of a video showing his ability to flip water bottles and have them land upright.

“I did it for my mom one day, and she liked it,” he said. “So I thought, OK, maybe there’s something here. I just kept working at it. It’s kind of my hobby. Everybody’s got their own thing. Right now, during the season, I’m focused on flipping the field more than water bottles.”