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“Dream Come True” For Jayden Fielding To Start At Kicker For Ohio State

By September 7, 2023 (11:28 am)Football

Ohio State relied on sophomore kicker Jayden Fielding more than most might have expected in the season-opening win over Indiana, but it was a challenge he was prepared for. In fact, it’s one he had been looking forward to for a long time.

“It was a dream come true,” Fielding said Wednesday. “I’ve always wanted to play big-time college football, and there’s no place to do like Ohio State. It’s best in the country, best players in the country, best coaches, just the best environment, too.”

Fielding connected on all three of his field goals in his first time handling those duties for Ohio State, connecting from 40 yards out as well as a pair of 22-yarders. He said he feels comfortable kicking from within 60 yards, and hit from as far as 55 yards in high school.

Fielding – who also handled kickoff responsibilities – said there were some nerves going out to attempt his first field goal for the Buckeyes, but his preseason preparation helped him work through the jitters.

“I think there’s always going to be a little bit of nerves, definitely, but me and Jesse (Mirco) and John (Ferlmann) have gotten thousands of reps in practice this spring and all through the summer and fall camp,” he said. “I felt ready for it. The guys have all installed confidence in me, and just having that that extra boost from the guys really helped.”

Fielding was informed last week by head coach Ryan Day and special teams coordinator Parker Fleming that he would be Ohio State’s starting kicker this season, and he said it was a “dream come true,” though it didn’t come without plenty of hard work.

He arrived at Ohio State as a walk-on out of IMG Academy in Florida, where he connected on every one of his field goal attempts during his senior season, and elected to join the Buckeyes without a scholarship despite receiving interest from other programs.

But after just over a year on campus, Fielding has already made his mark in being named the team’s starting kicker, and he’s feeling right at home in Columbus.

“I’ve always bet on myself,” he said. “Even in high school, moving from my home high school to IMG (Academy), I was betting on myself to go in and be the guy and prove to everybody around the country that I could kick at this level. So I feel like, why not take that opportunity in college?

“Debating between schools, that’s never an easy decision, especially for a kicker where there’s one guy that does the job,” he continued. “There’s one football, right? There’s one guy to kick it. So, having to go through and select a place was definitely hard. But I felt like Ohio State was home.”

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