Ryan Pretorius

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Ryan Pretorius
Ohio State Buckeyes – No. 85
Class2008
Personal information
Born: (1979-05-02) 2 May 1979 (age 42)
Rhodesia
Career history
Bowl games2008 BCS National Championship Game
2009 Fiesta Bowl
High schoolWestville Boys High School

Ryan Pretorius (born 2 May 1979) is a South African former rugby union player and American football place kicker with the Ohio State Buckeyes.[1][2] He was raised in Durban, South Africa, and played rugby union professionally before attending Ohio State University to play American football.

Early life

Pretorius was born in Rhodesia and is the grandson of Joe Pretorius, a rugby player who played internationally for Rhodesia and was part of their 1949 10–8 victory over the All Blacks. Pretorius and his family fled to Durban, South Africa, in 1983 after a Zimbabwe Republic Police officer threatened him and his father with an AK-47.[3] He settled with his family in Durban and was educated at Westville Boys High School.[4]

Rugby

After finishing school, Pretorius moved to England and joined the academy of Bath Rugby.[5] He made his one and only appearance for Bath as a scrum-half against Saracens in 1999.[6] He then moved to play rugby in France. For Christmas he got a laptop and looked at American football kickers seeing how far they could kick and then went on holiday to the United States and filmed himself kicking field goals from 65 yards (59 m).[7] After encouragement from fellow South African former NFL kicker Gary Anderson,[8] Pretorius sent copies of the tape to several American universities and was invited to join Ohio State University as a walk-on.[9] When told he would have to pay his way there, he sold his car to his father.[10]

American football

When Pretorius kicked, he wore cleats that were two sizes too small to replicate the feeling of kicking barefoot as he had done when younger practising rugby.[11] He made his debut for the Buckeyes in 2005.[12] In 2006, he was awarded a scholarship to Ohio State.[13] At the time, he was the oldest member of the Ohio State team.[14] In 2007, with a 96% extra point percentage,[15] he was nominated for a Lou Groza Award.[7] He also played in Ohio's 2008 BCS National Championship Game loss to LSU Tigers.[16] In his 2008 season, he scored all but one of his point after touchdown attempts and was a part of Ohio's team in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl loss to Texas Longhorns.[17]

References

  1. Biography Archived 4 July 2021 at the Wayback Machine OhioStateBuckeyes.com
  2. ESPN.com profile Archived 23 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  3. "He's alive and kicking - Sports - The Columbus Dispatch - Columbus, OH". Columbus Dispatch. 29 September 2008. Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  4. "Spring Football Player Profile: Ryan Pretorius". Ohiostatebuckeyes.com. 18 April 2008. Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  5. Press, Associated (7 September 2007). "Ex-rugby standout starts over with Buckeyes". East Bay Times. Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  6. Gibbs, Russell. "Pretorius Ryan | Player Profiles". Bath Rugby Heritage. Archived from the original on 12 February 2021. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "30 seconds with American football star Ryan Pretorius". Sunday Times. 17 February 2008. Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 3 June 2021 – via Pressreader.
  8. "South African Pretorius a solid kicker for Buckeyes". Toledo Blade. 2 November 2007. Archived from the original on 3 June 2021. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  9. "At 28, Pretorius finally OSU's kicker". Springfield News-Sun. Newspapers.com. 3 January 2008. Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  10. "Bucknuts Mag Excerpts: The Dreamer". 247sports.com. Archived from the original on 4 July 2021. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  11. "Read Ryan Pretorius' Chat with Fans". Ohiostatebuckeyes.com. 31 March 2008. Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  12. "Byers delivers stern message to Buckeyes running backs". Dayton Daily News. 24 April 2005. Archived from the original on 3 June 2021. Retrieved 3 June 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. "Kicker convicted on drug charge returns to Ohio State". ESPN.com. 7 March 2006. Archived from the original on 3 June 2021. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  14. "Kicker's march to OSU unique". The Akron Beacon Journal. 24 August 2006. Archived from the original on 3 June 2021. Retrieved 3 June 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. "Ryan Pretorius 2007 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. 19 April 2021. Archived from the original on 3 June 2021. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  16. "LSU vs. Ohio State - Game Summary - January 8, 2008". ESPN.com. 8 January 2008. Archived from the original on 3 June 2021. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  17. "Ryan Pretorius Game by Game Stats and Performance". ESPN. 3 June 2021. Archived from the original on 3 June 2021. Retrieved 3 June 2021.