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Former Buffalo punter Anthony Venneri commits to Buckeyes

Spencer-Holbrookby:Spencer Holbrook05/11/24


COLUMBUS — Ohio State is adding a weapon from the transfer portal. This one will help the Buckeyes with his leg.

Former Buffalo punter Anthony Venneri committed to Ohio State on Saturday while on a visit. Venneri will have two years of eligibility remaining with the Buckeyes.

Ohio State had been looking to add a punter with experience from the portal. That said, the Buckeyes are notably welcoming in Nick McLarty — a 6-foot-7, 255-pound punter from Melbourne, Australia — this summer. McLarty will be a serious candidate for the starting job once he arrives on campus.

Second-year punter Joe McGuire, who also hails from Melbourne and is a Prokick Australia product, handled punting duties in the spring game.

Whoever wins the job will replace Fremantle, Australia, native Jesse Mirco after the three-year Ohio State starter transferred to Vanderbilt this offseason.

As for Venneri, he averaged 43.88 yards per punt last season. In the process, he broke his own single-season program record record of 43 yards per punt that he set in 2022.

During the 2023 campaign, Venneri booted 12 punts of 50 or more yards, including two that traveled 60-plus yards. What’s more, the Hamilton, Ontario, native pinned 17 punts inside the 20-yard line. A total of 18 of his punts last season resulted in fair catches.

As a true freshman in 2022, Venneri earned the staring job early in the season and got the nod the final 10 games of the year. In addition to rewriting Buffalo’s yards per punt record the first time, he logged 12 punts of at least 50 yards. That year, he actually had four punts of 60 or more yards, but only 10 of his punts were downed inside the 20-yard line. Still, he earned FWAA Freshman All-America Team honors.

After graduating from St. Tomas More Catholic Secondary School in Canada, Venneri joined Buffalo as a walk-on.

Now he’s joining Ohio State as a preferred walk-on after entering the transfer portal.

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