Connect with us

Football

Most Important People #17 – Quinn Sharp

Published

on

Photo Attribution: Icon SMI

Who he is: Kickers are kind of like left-handed pitchers in baseball: really quirky, keep to themselves, and for some reason you always seem to need them in huge spots during big games. Sharp is somebody Joe DeForest once called “our most valuable player on defense.” There’s at least an 85% chance DeForest was just saying this because, at the time, his kick return D was #120 in the country, but still.

What he does: At 46.2 yards per punt last year he was the second best punter in the country behind Mississippi’s Tyler Campbell who probably loathes Jeremiah Masoli for running him out there sixty (!) times.

Sharp will also take over field goal kicking duties from Dan Bailey. Bailey stole punting and kickoff duties from Sharp in last year’s Alamo Bowl after Sharp couldn’t pass six hours of class (which blows my mind). That rule was changed this year so if the same thing happens again Sharp would be suspended for the first four games of 2012.

Seriously though, how does a kicker not pass six hours? Your median day goes like this…

530 AM: Wake up.
6 AM: Lift weights/chat up Rob Glass while he trains the DTs.
7 AM: Go back to your apartment and play the FG mini game on NCAA ’12 with yourself.
8 AM: Go to class.
9 AM: Watch SportsCenter at the Student Union for two hours.
11 AM: Go to class, halfway pay attention.
1 PM: Kick the ball around Boone Pickens with the walk-ons for ninety minutes. Play kicker games if you get bored.
3 PM: Make extra points with the first team.
4 PM: “Ice down”.
5 PM-12AM: Whatever you want (and if that doesn’t include the 25 min. of studying you need to pass college classes then you probably don’t deserve to be eligible).

Where he fits in: He is the special teams. Sharp came in to OSU as the #1 kicker in the country according to Rivals (how do you feel about your life if you’re ranking high school kickers for a living?) and has lived up to the billing for the most part. He experienced some inconsistency behind Bailey but I think has always had the stronger leg. Now will he hit 27/31 like Bailey did? No, but then again I don’t need him to. I just need him to hit the one or two that matter and keep blasting punts and kickoffs.

Why he matters: Sharp banged 53 kickoffs into the endzone for touchbacks last year (only two other players were within 20 of that number).

This article references DeForest referencing a stat that when teams start on their own 20 they only score 1 out of 30 times (in the Big 10 that’s 1 out of 55) as opposed to when they start on their own 30 and score 1 out of 25 times. I’m not sure how mathematically accurate that is (or if DeForest just used it as justification for his $400,000 salary) but it provides a little bit of weight to me placing a kicker in my list of the top 20 most important people to a national championship run so let’s go with it.

OSU needs continued consistency in kicks and punts and like 80% of what Bailey gave them last year in the field goal game. They aren’t getting that from anyone besides Sharp. That’s why he matters.

This post is part of our series on the 20 most important people to a 2011 Oklahoma State title run. Check the full list out here.

Most Read