Sophomore Ben Krimm fondly remembers the first time he got a taste for punting: his peewee football team’s weekly punting competitions to see who would punt for any given week.
Considering Krimm is now a Division I punter, it would not occur to most that he mainly played linebacker and did not punt at all for his high school team before his junior year.
Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, Krimm has fully shifted away from the linebacker position and plays exclusively as a punter for the Quakers. At the moment, he is the second-string punter behind junior Jake Haggard and despite only playing one game in the 2019 season, Krimm was hoping to trend toward a bigger role in 2020.
“My big goal for this year would be to start,” Krimm said. “I’ve been following Coach Rivera’s workouts and I’ve been going to the fields near me to practice my punting and to run.”
Krimm dealt with a similar experience when he was drawn be a punter his junior year. Between a vacancy in the position on his high school team, Krimm’s father having punted in college, and Krimm eager to get recruited to the next level, the shift to punter was a no-brainer.
Filling the role of punter for his team required a quick turnaround from Krimm.
“Most of my progression happened in the summer going into my senior year,” Krimm said. “Now that I knew I wanted to get recruited for punting, I started watching videos, going to camps and going to showcases, all while growing as a punter with the help of my dad and my coaches.”
With Krimm’s father playing punter and linebacker at Toledo, he has been able to guide his son throughout his football career.
“My dad helped expose me to the game at a very early age and helped me develop a love for the game while I was very young,” Krimm said. “Whether it be on the physical or mental side of the game, my family has always been there to provide me with guidance. The biggest piece of advice I got in my journey to playing college football was to enjoy every moment, trust in my ability, and have fun.”
A significant part of Krimm’s football journey was deciding where he would go to college. Academics played a role in deciding where to continue his football career, but so did the culture of the football program.
“What drew me to Penn was the people and the coaches,” Krimm said. “Everyone here truly cared about the football program and cared about how we were as people on and off the field. It felt like a great family atmosphere.”
Krimm said that the biggest jump from high school to college has been the amount of talent on the team. Entering college, not only did he have to operate at a higher level academically, but also at a higher football level. Krimm said he has been grateful to have mentors along the way to help him get acclimated to the new environment.
“One of my mentors was Drew Brennan. He was a senior kicker last year and as soon as I got here, he took me under his wing,” Krimm said. “He eliminated the divide between classes that you often feel at other schools. He was a great role model for me — and still is.”
After his first season with the team, Krimm said that what stuck out to him about his freshman season was the sense of community within the football team. He referenced the countless hours spent at practice together as a key reason the team is so tightly knit.