North Carolina kicker Noah Ruggles announced on Wednesday that he is transferring to Ohio State following a scholarship offer from Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day.
Ruggles is entering his fifth year of college but will still have two years of eligibility remaining due to the NCAA allowing all athletes a free season of eligibility last year.
Despite this being Ruggles’ fifth year, he has really only seen action in one of his first four years at North Carolina. He redshirted as a true freshman without playing in a game. As a redshirt freshman in 2018 he made two extra points in two attempts.
In 2019 he won the Tar Heels’ kicking job, appearing in all 13 games. He made 19-of-27 field goal attempts and all 45 extra points. He was 16-of-18 on attempts under 40 yards. He appeared in just one game as a redshirt junior last year.
Clearly the Buckeyes believe they need some security in the kicking game. They will now have two scholarship kickers on the roster as Ruggles joins sophomore Jake Seibert. Seibert made 1-of-2 field goal attempts last season and all 16 of his extra point attempts.
While two scholarship kickers may seem like a lot, this will surely breed the kind of competition that is going to make both players better. Ohio State doesn’t expect to have too many games come down to a single kick, but it’s always better to have a consistent kicker and not need one than to need one and not have one.
[Noah Ruggles photo courtesy GoHeels.com.]