COLUMBUS, Ohio Senior kicker Ryan Pretorius held a live online chat on Monday to answer fans’ questions. Read a full transcript of the chat below.  

Welcome to Ryan’s chat. Please post your questions for Ryan here.



What do you miss the most from South Africa?


Ryan Pretorius::  

Probably my friends, family and the awesome outdoorsy way of life. However, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been living in America.



When are the Buckeyes going to win another championship??


Ryan Pretorius::  

This year! Write it down. We have worked harder than we ever have this offseason and are going to leave no stone unturned until we come away with a National Championship!


Rob: Columbus, Ohio:  

How did you first decide to become a kicker? What’s the most difficult part?


Ryan Pretorius::  

I was playing rugby in France, received a laptop for Christmas and saw that there was a sport where you could just kick. That was always my strongest suit in rugby so I did a bunch of research and decided to visit the USA on vacation. I decided to make a kicking video when I was here and things began to fall in line. I fell in love with America and decided that this was something I wanted to pursue. It’s been a long journey but well worth it!


Dan :Worthington:  

Why does OSU have such a long line of excellent kickers?


Ryan Pretorius::  

Honestly, I think it has a LOT to do with Coach Tressel. Every practice we have a live field goal situation for 4 or 5 minutes where Coach Tressel puts us in pressure situations all over the field. It simulates a game-like situation and gets us ready for those pressure situations on Saturdays.


Adam Freed: Columbus, OH:  

What is the competition like in spring practices as far as who will receive the starting job?


Ryan Pretorius::  

Pressure is always fierce at a school like OhioState. We have five kickers on the roster, and to be honest, any kicker could start at another Div. 1 A school, within reason. I’m extremely happy with the way I’m kicking so we will just have to wait and see what pans out….


Adam Freed:Columbus, OH:  

Ryan: It seemed like more kicks were blocked last year then in previous years, is that because you were trying for a lot of distance, or is it a technique thing that you’re working on this spring?


Ryan Pretorius::  

No, it had nothing to do with trying to add distance or a technique thing. We have made a few adjustments up front and have also moved the distance I had been kicking from back an extra yard just in case something goes wrong. Height and perfect blocking up front is key.



Can you walk us through the motions you go through before ever kick? How do you setup?


Ryan Pretorius::  

Sure. As we approach our opponents half I usually stroll up to the kicking net and just make sure I’m loose and hit three good balls. After that I say a little prayer and get near Coach Tressel to let him know that I’m ready. I gauge the wind, and when I hear the words “field goal” we run on. I shake my holder, Jon Thoma’s hand, pick the line I’m going to hit the ball, take three steps back, two across and strive to get the ball off in 1.3 seconds of perfection. Then we celebrate together and I tell all 10 guys on the field how much I love and appreciate the job they do up front! Haha


Tommy:Frisco, Colo.:  

What kind of dedication does it take to kick at the college level?


Ryan Pretorius::  

It takes a LOT of dedication. We run and lift all year round with the team. Added to that I kick year round so I never have to start from scratch. I guess it takes the same amount of dedication that a PGA golfer puts into their game.



Have you ever kicked barefoot like the old NFL kickers?


Ryan Pretorius::  

No. However, I used to kick barefoot a lot in South Africa when I was growing up. The cleats I wear are actually two sizes too small for me and the reason I do this is to simulate like I am actually kicking barefoot.



What do you do when you’re waiting on the sideline during the games?


Ryan Pretorius::  

I make sure I’m mentally ready for any situation, keep my leg loose by kicking into the net and do a lot of praying! Every now and again, I may look into the stands and wave to my parents!



How does your workout schedule differ from the rest of the team? Do you have to practice the whole time the team does?


Ryan Pretorius::  

It doesn’t vary at all. We do all the same running and lifting during the off season. During the season, however, we do not do as much running as we need to keep our legs as fresh as we can. We focus a lot on core work, flexibility and refining our mechanics.


Hannah:New York:  

What’s more physical – Big Ten football or rugby?


Ryan Pretorius::  

Good question! Put it this way………I tell my rugby mates that football is more physical and I tell my footy mates that rugby is more physical! That way I always look like I’m the tough guy! Seriously though, they are both equally as physical as the other.



What is it like to be a Buckeye?


Ryan Pretorius::  

It’s a blessing and an unbelievable experience! I’m truly am living the American dream. What more could I ask for than spending every day with 125 of my best mates, competing at the highest level. Add the tradition and excellence of Ohio State Football to that…..and you can see how blessed we are to be in the position God has put us in.



What do you do on an off day?


Ryan Pretorius::  

On an off day I am normally pretty busy with classes. I use that time to catch up on some school work and spend time with friends. I may sneak an extra lift in sometimes too.


Emily: Cincinnati:  

Where has been your favorite place to live?


Ryan Pretorius::  

I’ve lived in Zimbabwe, South Africa, England, France, Spain and the USA. However, NOTHING compares to America! I love this awesome country! God Bless the Red, White and Blue!!!!


Jason Reynolds: Buford, GA:  

Ryan – what is the most memorable kick you have ever made?


Ryan Pretorius::  

My long of 52 yards again Cincinnati was pretty special, but the 50-yard field goal against PennState this year was pretty special. To kick that field goal against that wind in those conditions … a lot of head butting went on after that kick! lol


Drew:Columbus, OH:  

What is your 40-yard dash time?


Ryan Pretorius::  

It’s around a 4.6.


Danielle:Big Bear, CA:  

How difficult was it to come onto the football team as a walk-on?


Ryan Pretorius::  

It was a challenge. However, I love challenges. After my first year, Coach Tressel rewarded me with a full scholarship which I am eternally grateful for. It just shows that hard work and perseverance certainly pays off!!!


Danielle:Big Bear, CA:  

How are you adjusting to the weather out here?


Ryan Pretorius::  

Slowly………..haha. At first I loved the snow but now I know why Ohioans hate it. However, I love the fall (obviously because it’s football time). Oh, and I love the warmer weather – reminds me of South Africa.  

That’s it for Ryan. Thanks for all the questions.