While Satchel Denton’s college search took a long time, when the University of Rhode Island entered the picture, the Highland senior quickly decided that was where he would continue his athletic and academic careers.
Denton noted that one day, the Ram coaching staff invited him up to see a game and then he was offered on the way back home. Since he liked the campus and area, it was an easy choice.
“It reminds me a lot of Ohio,” he said. “I thought it’d be harbors and fish, but it’s so rural.”
Denton, a standout kicker and punter for the Highland football team who will punt for Rhode Island, noted it was a lot more difficult getting to that point.
“It was a very long search that started my freshman year,” he said. “It looked like I was going to Toledo, but their coaches went to Iowa State, so that was out of the picture. After that, I went to every MAC school.”
Denton had the opportunity to wind up competing at the FCS level of Division I due to putting in a lot of work over several years at kicking. While most kickers at smaller, rural schools are position players helping out on special teams, he’s specialized in that role for the Scots over the past four years. He said that he played soccer as a youth, but eventually moved on to football.
“I played soccer until seventh grade,” he said. “And then thought I might as well give football a try. I hooked up with Tim Williams (former Ohio State kicker), who coached me up to where I am today.”
As a result, Denton found himself get invited to various kicking camps, which also got his name out to prospective colleges, as did his success with the Scots. As a placekicker, he has the school record of a 47-yard field goal. As a punter, he notes that he has hit 70-yard punts and feels he can average 40-45.
One thing he is confident in is that he’ll put in the necessary work to be a valuable member of the Rhode Island team, adding that being on a team with coaches dedicated to the kicking game will do nothing but help him down the road.
“I’ve always liked working hard and getting better,” he said. “With kicking, you either know it or you don’t, so it’ll be exciting to have a coach who really knows about it.”
The Highland athlete has a lot of fond memories of his time with the Scots after finishing his football career as a three-time first-team All-Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference pick.
“Definitely my teammates,” he said when asked what he’d miss about high school. “I have good friends and it basically will be tough not seeing them for a while.”
While at Rhode Island, Denton has hopes of progressing as a punter enough to reach the NFL, but is planning to major in education, noting he would prefer to teach physical education or history in high school, while also coaching.
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS