COLUMBUS (WCMH) — When we last saw Austin Brizee in February, he was fresh off an Ohio State marching band season that ended with a viral video of him kicking a 55-yard field goal during bowl game practice. That video helped earn him a tryout with the Buckeye football team. So how did it go?
“I think it went all right,” said Brizee. “I’ve definitely had days where I was kicking better but I’ve also had days where I feel like I couldn’t kick a ball to save my life so I think I did a good job out there. They want me to come back for another one too so I definitely think I came in and made a statement.”
But making a statement and making the team are two different things, something Brizee is very aware of.
“I’ve definitely thought about it but I know it’s something I can do,” said Brizee. “If I set my mind on something, I go for it.”
So Brizee enlisted the help of former Buckeye kicker Kyle Clinton to teach him the finer points of kicking.
“Honestly, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today if it wasn’t for him,” said Brizee. “If I’m just trying to work by myself, I can’t point out the little things that would help me get the ball either higher in the air or the contact point and stuff life that so he’s really just kind of helped me overall.”
“A lot of kickers that are trying out for Ohio State have done that, even before high school, and so we’re trying to jumpstart Austin’s kicking career,” said Clinton, “And he’s a little set back so it’s just taking reps and getting after it, learning the technique and getting that down”
It’s more than one the field work though. It’s also about hitting the weight room hard too with his friend and personal trainer Craig Dzuranin.
“They definitely want him to bulk up,” said Dzuranin. “We’re focusing on every little part of the muscle, whether it comes from hips, legs, shoulders, or chest. We’re hitting everything. I want to make sure everything is symmetrical. But we are focusing a lot on his hip flexors, abductors, adductors and making sure he’s got that power to kick” .
Brizee is taking this so seriously, he gave up his summer internship so he can pursue his kicking dream full-time.
“This opportunity is something I’m never going to get again so I need to go all for it and I need to show the team that I’m really serious about this and get up to where I need to be,” said Brizee.
His next tryout should come in August, and it will likely come one week after his tryout to earn back his spot in the best damn band in the land.