Bringing the thunder from down under

Matt BuckeyeInsider

Wide receiver/running back Dontre Wilson has received the most hype of the true freshmen who have been on the field for the Buckeyes this fall.

Although he is not as flamboyant as the speedy Wilson, Cameron Johnston has made a similar impact in his rookie season in Columbus.

Johnston, who hails from Geelong, Australia, was named the Big 10 special teams player of the week for nailing five of his punts inside the Wisconsin 10-yard line.

Johnston’s path to Columbus is a twisting one. It was made possible by a high school punter named Johnny Townsend.

With last year’s punter Ben Buchanan being lost to graduation, Ohio State’s coaching staff tabbed Townsend as the heir apparent at the spot. A standout at Boone High School in Orlando, Fla., Townsend was committed to the Buckeyes for several months.

However, he made a surprising move on signing day in February. Instead of inking a letter of intent with the Buckeyes, Townsend decided to stay closer to home and sign with the Florida Gators.

That unexpected decision left Ohio State searching for a punter. The task landed on the shoulders of Kerry Coombs, who coaches the special teams and defensive backs for the Buckeyes.

“(Coach Urban Meyer) said go find your punter,” said Coombs this week. “He said I don’t care where you find him, go find a punter.”

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