FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Everyone can get a real kick out of this Heisman Trophy campaign.
There is already a website with some cool classic graphics and at least one #sinor4heisman T-shirt — the one Zach Sinor wore during Big 12 media days. Oklahoma State’s 5-foot-10 junior punter, sporting a Fu Manchu moustache, even handed out colorful pamphlets touting his credentials for college football’s top individual award.
“I’m supporting him 100 percent,” said Mason Rudolph, 22-6 as Oklahoma State’s starting quarterback and a top Heisman contender himself.
“He only has a certain amount of money like all of us, so he has to budget the way he can, and use a bunch of his old Instagram pictures,” linebacker Chad Whitener said of the tri-folded, one-page pamphlet. “It was good, and all the stats on there are incredible.”
According to the handout, opponents hate America’s No. 1 punter and animals love him — there is a picture of him with a dolphin and another with him getting licked on the face by his dog.
Sinor punted 56 times last year, and an FBS-best 63 percent of those were downed inside the 20-yard line. Opponents had only 15 yards on punt returns all season, less than one yard per game.
When told he would be one of the four players representing Oklahoma State at media days on Tuesday — a very rare occurrence for a punter — he wanted to take full advantage to boost the Heisman Trophy campaign that he kicked off with a video last month.
“I took it and ran with it,” he said.
Asked about his campaign budget, Sinor said it is “pretty expensive.” But he said he had run things by compliance officials to make sure he wasn’t breaking any rules.
“They said this was fine as long as I wasn’t selling them. So that’s good,” said the Texas-born punter, adding that he has “another shirt I’m going to break out for y’all sometime.”
Sinor was a quarterback in middle school, but missed all of preseason practice going into his ninth-grade year because he was playing in the Pony League Baseball World Series in Washington, Pennsylvania. That led to him becoming a punter.
“When I got back, they said I wasn’t going to be the starting quarterback. I was obviously devastated,” said Sinor, who instead became a defensive tackle and third-string quarterback. “Then, my sophomore year, I was kicking the ball around one day. They asked who the punter was, and they said Zach was punting earlier.”
After getting moved up to the varsity team for a scrimmage game, he had a punt of about 55 yards.
In his first game for Oklahoma State, Sinor had a 65-yard punt in the 2015 season opener against Central Michigan. Cowboys fans eventually took to using the hashtag #Sinor4Heisman.
Texas’ Michael Dickson, who was also at the Big 12 gathering Tuesday, actually led the league in punting last season with his 47.4-yard average. The Australian-born kicker said he would be happy if a punter won the Heisman, but has no plans for a campaign of his own.
“I’ll leave that to him. I don’t want to copy his thing. That’s funny, though,” Dickson said after looking at the pamphlet. “It’ll never happen. … Maybe as a quarterback/punter or something, that’s really the only way it’s going to happen.”
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