STILLWATER — Arlington Martin High School football coach Bob Wager had an idea. He wanted a crowd-pleasing and throwback moment for kicker Ben Grogan during the school's Homecoming game last October.
Grogan lined up, as normal, for an extra point. But then holder Matt Waller picked up the tee, and Grogan received the direct snap and drop-kicked the ball through the uprights.
This was all caught on tape — from multiple angles — and posted on YouTube. The next day, Yahoo! Sports' college football blog had picked it up, prompting hundreds of thousands of views.
“For a kid that doesn't say a whole lot, he became a rock star on our campus pretty quick,” Wager said.
Make no mistake, though. Grogan, who will sign with Oklahoma State Wednesday, is not about gimmicks.
He can boom field goals from 50-plus yards away. He's a touchback machine on kickoffs. And he can punt a little bit, too.
Sounds a whole lot like Quinn Sharp, doesn't it?
Grogan hopes he'll be next in OSU's recent string of elite kickers and punters. Maybe he'll eventually hold the triple-threat role Sharp did the past two seasons.
“He's definitely a hard one to follow, because he did so well,” Grogan said of Sharp. “It's cool that I will be able to kind of fill in his shoes.”
Grogan, rated as the nation's ninth-best prospect at his position by Rivals, possesses the physical tools needed to be successful in all areas of the kicking game. He's polished his technique. And much of his power comes from the fact that he strength trains just like a linebacker, Wager said.
But what separates Grogan, Wager said, is his mental approach, a necessity for a position that is often defined by high-pressure moments.
Teammates have nicknamed Grogan the “Ice Pirate,” because trying to ice him by calling a timeout is just elongating the game and, essentially, delaying the inevitable.
Grogan doesn't see any difference between kicking by himself on a Sunday afternoon, during a practice or with a playoff game on the line. The process is always the same — visualization, steps, follow-through.
“I just try not to think about anything,” Grogan said. “Throughout the week, (I get) ready for the game by getting everything to a muscle memory-type thing, so I don't have to think.”
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