Drue Chrisman had big shoes to fill when the redshirt freshman took over as Ohio State’s punter this year.

For the previous four years, Australian Cameron Johnston was an invaluable weapon for the Buckeyes with his rugby-style kicks. Chrisman is a conventional punter, but the results have been close to perfect.

On Thursday, he was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Ray Guy Award, given to college football’s best punter. Johnston was a finalist last year.

Ohio State is the only team in the country not to allow any punt return yardage this season. The Cincinnati LaSalle graduate is averaging 43.1 yards per punt. Eighteen of Chrisman’s 29 kicks have been fairly caught or downed inside the opponents’ 20.

When Jim Lachey mentioned the zero-punt-return-yards stat to Urban Meyer on the Ohio State coach’s radio show Thursday, Meyer didn’t want to expound on it much.

“Don't jinx us, man,” he said in jest. “You’re the same guy that says, ‘Man, your guy is throwing a no-hitter. Good luck.’”

Another farewell

Saturday is Senior Day, but it’ll also be the last time working at Ohio Stadium for someone who’s done so since 1969.

Assistant director of event management Larry Romanoff is retiring next summer, so the Illinois game will be his finale. Romanoff has held a number of positions in his 49 years working for OSU, including the ticket department, academics, compliance, development and external relations.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Romanoff said. “The people, the characters and interesting things I’ve been able to do and the people I’ve met, that’s the best thing about it.

“You think about the coaches and the All-Americans and the coaches from other schools and the media people. And none of us would have a job if it weren’t for the student-athletes. The student-athletes are the most amazing thing.”

Romanoff started working in 1969 as a student manager when Woody Hayes was coach. Even in 1974, when he was pursuing his master’s at Ohio University, he returned to Ohio Stadium on Saturdays to work.

“It’ll be emotional knowing it’ll be last time on the field and knowing it’s my last day doing something constructive on a game day,” Romanoff said. “That will be tough for me.”

Wrapping up

Defensive end Sam Hubbard and safety Jordan Fuller have been named Academic All-District. Hubbard has a 3.51 grade-point average as a finance major. Fuller, a sport and industry major, has a 3.82 GPA. They will be up for Academic All-America honors, which will be announced in December. … Center Billy Price has been named a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy, given to the best interior lineman in colelge football.

brabinowitz@dispatch.com

@brdispatch