Ohio State football kicker Jake Seibert starts out at cornerback in preseason camp

Joey Kaufman
The Columbus Dispatch

Jake Seibert, who spent the past two seasons as a kicker, is trying out a new position.

Seibert practiced with the cornerbacks as Ohio State opened preseason training camp Thursday after bringing up the move earlier this summer.

“He wanted to kind of bring some different value,” Buckeyes coach Ryan Day said. “He’s still going to work on kicking and do that part of it, but he’s also going to be able to help us at other positions.”

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Day said Seibert has experience playing wide receiver and cornerback in high school at La Salle in Cincinnati.

Seibert has served as the Buckeyes’ backup kicker, most notably filling in for Blake Haubeil during the 2020 season's College Football Playoff final against Alabama when Haubeil was sidelined after testing positive for COVID-19.

Seibert made one of two field goals against the Crimson Tide. He did not attempt one last season.

With him elsewhere, Noah Ruggles was the only kicker available during the first practice of camp.

Ohio State is waiting on Southern California transfer Parker Lewis to be cleared for eligibility by the NCAA.

Ruggles, a finalist for the Lou Groza Award as the nation’s top kicker last fall, was not with the team during spring practice for personal reasons, but returned at the end of the semester.

Day seemed satisfied with his reacclimating to campus.

“You don’t know until you get going,” Day said, “but so far, so good.”

Seibert could provide some extra depth in the secondary, where the Buckeyes are thin at cornerback with only six returning scholarship players at the position.

Sevyn Banks, Lejond Cavazos and Ryan Watts, all cornerbacks on last season’s team, transferred elsewhere over the offseason.

The official roster for preseason camp lists Seibert at both cornerback and kicker.

Ohio State secondary coach Tim Walton is working kicker Jake Seibert into the mix at corner.

Ohio State backup quarterback reps

Quarterbacks Kyle McCord and Devin Brown will see first-team reps during preseason camp following C.J. Stroud.

“You got to develop these guys,” Day said. “It’s a huge three weeks to bring those guys along. They’re going to get plenty of reps. Plenty of reps with the 1s. Plenty of reps with the 2s. We’ll mix those up, and that’s part of the process. How many guys can get game ready?

Neither of the backup passers have much on-field experience, though McCord started in place of an injured Stroud during a non-conference game against Akron last season.

Over five games as a freshman in 2021, McCord completed 25 of 38 passes for 416 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Brown, a freshman who enrolled in January, followed McCord in the rotation of quarterbacks Thursday.

While looking for development from the rest of the quarterbacks, Day said the priority remains Stroud’s preparation for the season opener against Notre Dame on Sept. 3.

“We got to get C.J. to a point where he’s ready to go play his best football against Notre Dame,” Day said.

Aug 4, 2022; Columbus, OH, USA;  Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Devin Brown (15) throws a pass during the first fall football practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

Buckeyes add protective padding

Offensive tackle Zen Michalski, linebacker Teradja Mitchell and defensive tackle Tyleik Williams are among a few of Ohio State’s players wearing Guardian Caps, protective padding that straps over the outside of their helmet.

In an effort to reduce head injuries, the NFL has mandated the padded caps for offensive and defensive linemen, linebackers and tight ends during the early stages of the preseason.

While Guardian Caps are available for the Buckeyes, Day said they are not required to be worn by the players.

“We just talked to them about it,” Day said, “asked them to do their own research, and there were a few guys that decided to use them.”

Aug 4, 2022; Columbus, OH, USA;  Ohio State Buckeyes defensive tackle Tyleik Williams (91) wears Guardian cap padding over his helmet during the first fall football practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

OSU injury progress

Lathan Ransom took a step forward in his recovery from a leg fracture suffered in the Rose Bowl in January

Ransom went through non-contact safety drills on Thursday, a progression Day said was on the horizon last week during Big Ten media days.

While rehabbing the injury, Ransom did not participate in spring practice in March and April.

Other previously injured players rejoined the Buckeyes for the first practice, including defensive end Tyler Friday who missed all of last season due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury. 

Mitchell Melton, a defensive end and linebacker who suffered an ACL injury in the spring game, was the lone notable absence. 

Joey Kaufman covers Ohio State football for The Columbus Dispatch. Contact him at or on Twitter @joeyrkaufman.

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