NORMAN — New Oklahoma commitment Austin Seibert broke his kicking leg two years ago.
If that sounds like a particularly grueling injury for a kicker, consider this: Seibert actually came to view the compound fracture as a positive.
“It might’ve been better that I did break it because I lost all my muscle in my leg, and I basically trained it to kick,” Seibert said. “That’s all I trained it to do. I didn’t train it to do heavy muscle; I trained it to do explosiveness and kicking.”
Seibert, a Belleville, Ill., native who also had offers from Colorado, Kentucky, Miami, Missouri and Northwestern, among others, committed to the Sooners on Friday. He is considered the recruiting class of 2015’s No. 1 kicker and No. 2 punter, according to Kohl’s Kicking Camps’ rankings.
Both Oklahoma kicker Michael Hunnicutt and punter Jed Barnett are seniors in 2014, meaning the Sooners will need to find replacements for both in 2015.
Seibert spoke with The Oklahoman about his decision, his future at OU and his relationship with special teams coordinator Jay Boulware.
Q: What made you decide to commit to OU?
A: “With the offers that I had, I wasn’t gonna chase down any summer camps. I went down (Friday) with my parents and my brother and found out they had a huge medical facility right there in Oklahoma City. They have a physician’s assistant program, and that’s what I’m gonna try to major in. The overall campus was beautiful. The football program is really good. Coaches are great. Mostly, it’s just one of the places that would help me prepare to be the best student-athlete I can be.”
Do you expect to kick, punt or do both at Oklahoma?
“Coach Boulware told me I could do both, but my main thing is gonna be a kicker. If I can go in and kick, kick off and win the punting job, then I’ll do all three, but he did mention that it can do some wear and tear on the body when it starts getting late in the season. We’ll see.”
What do you like about Coach Boulware?
“Coach Boulware has told me about how he can help kickers, what he’s done with kickers in the past. He’s had kickers break records; he’s had kickers go the NFL, and I respect that. Knowing that he knows stuff about kicking will definitely help a lot, because a lot of college coaches really don’t know. Considering he’s there with you all the time, it means a lot more. It shows that they respect their kickers.”