October 12, 2010

Fleak gets kick out of Buckeyes

Growing up just north of Columbus in Sunbury, Ohio, A.J. Fleak always dreamed of playing football for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Now a senior at Big Walnut High School, the 6-foot-2, 208-pound kicker is close to making that dream a reality.

Ohio State's coaching staff has invited Fleak to every home game and he readily accepted their offer and has attended every game but one. Last weekend he attended Ohio State's 38-10 win over Indiana.

"Ii would love to go to Ohio State and play football," he said. "Just being down by the players and the atmosphere they play in, nothing gets much better than that. I just think it would be a great experience to go there."

Ohio State has been recruiting Fleak for over a year. While Fleak is capable of both kicking and punting, the Buckeyes project him as a place-kicker.

Fleak has handled the kicking duties at Big Walnut ever since his sophomore season. This year he has converted on 7-of-8 field goal tries with a long kick of 40 yards and he's a perfect 18-for-18 on extra point tries.

He has a career long field goal of 45 yards.

Over the summer Fleak camped at Ohio State and Toledo and he also attended the Ray Guy Kicking Camp in Kentucky.

There he really shined.

"I was first with a 61.50-yard kickoff average with a best of 65 and I was 70-percent on field goals," he said.

Already this season Fleak has kicked two game-winning field goals.

"I was a little nervous but we work on situations like that in practice so I was kind of prepared for it," he said. "I just felt like if I had a good snap and hold I would be able to make it."

The way Big Walnut prepares, kicking with the game on the line almost seems anti-climatic.

"Our coach puts pressure on the kicks at practice for like up downs and sprints and he usually stacks the line with a lot of rushers so I would be prepared for the rush," Fleak said.

Fleak continues to hope for a scholarship offer, preferably from the Buckeyes.

"I've just been sending highlight tapes out to schools right now so I'm waiting to see if any other schools would be interested," he said.

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