We’re halfway through our summer-long countdown of Oklahoma State’s roster. Next up is a specialist with some pretty
How he got to OSU
Ammendola hails from Lansdale, Pennsylvania, 28 miles northwest of Philadelphia, which is apparently close enough for him to earn the nickname “Philly” in Mike Gundy’s book. Unfortunately, holding the North Penn High School record for longest field goal and uploading his own trick-shot YouTube videos couldn’t land Ammendola a single FBS scholarship offer.
When former graduate assistant and special teams coordinator at Oklahoma State, Robby Discher, offered him an opportunity to join the program as a preferred walk-on, he jumped at the chance.
What’s done in Stillwater
After a redshirt year in 2015, Ammendola got a chance to try his leg at kickoffs. He split those duties the first two games of the season but by Week 3 had earned the gig full-time. Off of Ammendola’s toe, the Cowboys improved their touchback percentage from 23 percent (90th nationally) in 2015, to 43 percent which ranked 30th.
Role in 2017
Ben Grogan rode off into the sunset with three game-winners under his belt as well as the most points scored all-time by a Cowboy. Whichever side of the Grogan fence you reside on, an untested kicker is enough to give even Mike Gundy cause for concern.
“Ammendola will kick,” Mike Gundy said prior to spring camp. “We’ll see how he develops. Right now, in practice and games, he’s been six-for-six from 55 yards and out, but he hasn’t been good from 35 and in.
“We’re going to work him quite a bit this spring.”
With any luck, the short kicks will work themselves out. Maybe Mike Gundy will trust his potentially elite offense to finish a couple more third-and-longs and fourth-and-shorts in enemy territory. Either way, the job should be Ammendola’s to lose. There’s no reason to think he can’t be the Cowboys’ full-time specialist for both field goals and kickoffs.
Noteworthy stats and highlights
Broke the record at his high school with a 56-yard field goal. Is 1-for-1 in career field goals at OSU. That one was a 53-yarder and is tied for fourth-longest in school history.
— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) April 16, 2016