Ohio State football adds USC transfer kicker Parker Lewis
Former USC kicker Parker Lewis announced on Friday afternoon that he is transferring to Ohio State.
"Excited to be a buckeye," he tweeted.
Lewis spent two seasons with the Trojans, making 26 of 35 field-goal attempts and 46 of 47 extra-point attempts. He entered the transfer portal in December with three seasons of collegiate eligibility left and had visited Columbus for the Buckeyes' spring game on April 16.
His arrival will leave the Buckeyes with a fair bit of placekicking depth as they return Noah Ruggles, who was one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award last season, and Jake Seibert, who is also on scholarship.
Ruggles was not enrolled for the spring semester and did not participate in spring practice, but he is expected to be back in the fall for his final season of eligibility.
Once Ruggles departs next year, Lewis would be in line to compete with Seibert to be the team’s primary placekicker.
Seibert has been with Ohio State for two seasons and made 1 of 2 field-goal attempts and 16 of 16 extra-point attempts.
Lewis is held in high regard for a strong right leg. He made a field goal from 52 yards last fall, and most of his kickoffs landed in the end zone for touchbacks.
He booted touchbacks on 27 of 34 kickoffs last season, a 79.4% rate that ranked 11th among kickers in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
That could make an immediate impact for the Buckeyes as Ruggles, despite his precision while lining up for field goals, was less powerful on kickoffs, producing touchbacks on only 21 out of 99 tries.
Lewis was also once ejected for targeting on the opening kickoff against Stanford last season.
The addition of Lewis was preceded by the Buckeyes dropping below the NCAA-maximum 85 scholarships on Tuesday when reserve safety Marcus Hooker put his name in the transfer portal.
Lewis brings them back to the 85-man limit.
Sunday remains the last day for players to enter the portal and remain eligible to play next season.
Joey Kaufman covers Ohio State football for The Columbus Dispatch. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @joeyrkaufman.