Every day until fall camp begins for Ohio State, we will profile a different Buckeye football player. Today that player is freshman punter Jesse Mirco. Yesterday it was defensive tackle Antwuan Jackson. You can find all of the daily Scoop Profiles right here.
No. 29 | Punter | 6-4 210 | Freshman | Christian Brothers | Perth, Australia
How’d He Get Here
Jesse Mirco has taken a longer road to get to Ohio State than any other current Buckeye. Mirco was part of Prokick Australia, which also sent Cameron Johnston to Ohio State back in 2013. Prokick Australia was started in 2007 in an effort to marry Australians’ kicking ability with the American game and it has been a huge success. Prokick Australia boasts five Ray Guy Awards, 17 All-Americans, 75 scholarships or pro contracts, and over $19,000,000 in education fees saved. Mirco was ranked the No. 6 punter in the 2021 class. He is one of 10 Prokick alums among the top 15 punters in the 2021 class overall.
As the lone scholarship punter on the Ohio State roster, Jesse Mirco is expected to step up and be the guy this year. He is one of three punters listed on the roster, so there is still going to be a competition. Mirco enrolled early and was a busy guy in the spring as the Buckeyes try to get him up to speed on big-time college football. He’ll be working every day to be ready for camp in August.
What to Like
With the track record that Prokick Australia has, there is a reputation that precedes itself. The only experience Ohio State has had with Australian punters worked beyond the Buckeyes’ wildest dreams, so no pressure for Jesse Mirco, right? It’s not fair to expect the same experience for Mirco, just like it’s not fair to expect every Ohio offensive tackle prospect to be the next Orlando Pace. That was almost 30 years ago and there hasn’t been a player who lived up to the label yet. And that’s not their fault, it’s Pace’s. Mirco has had the same training as all of the other Prokick Australia alums, but let’s let him be his own person first.
What’s the Ceiling This Year?
A punter’s ceiling is measured in hang time, and if you’re a college punter from Australia, that ceiling is pretty high. Jesse Mirco is going to be given every opportunity to win the job this year and the expectation is that he’ll get it done. Being the Ohio State punter can often be a thankless job. Some punters prefer to be workhorses, that’s why they go to a place like Michigan where they can get a lather and get a rhythm going because you get to punt on most possessions. That’s just not the case at Ohio State, where being the punter is a lot like being a Maytag repairman. That being said, when Mirco does get called on, he’ll need to execute. The fewer the punts, the bigger each one is.
Ohio State has had two starting punters over the previous eight seasons. Cameron Johnston handled the duties from 2013-2016 and then Drue Chrisman stepped in from 2017-2020. Chrisman was given the benefit of a redshirt year, which isn’t something that Jesse Mirco will be getting this year. Still, punting is something that he has now mastered and there’s no reason to think he won’t follow in the footsteps of Johnston and Chrisman and be the guy for four years before then heading off for yet another NFL contract for Prokick Australia to deservingly tout.