Q&A: West Virginia punter Nick O'Toole

In addition to being one of the conference's top punters, Nick O'Toole also manages to find time to have a great mustache. We sat down with the West Virginia great at Big 12 media days to learn all about his facial hair and his "Boomstache" reputation.

Can you tell me about the maintenance required for the mustache?

Nick O'Toole: The maintenance is I just let it flow and I have to shave everything else. Other than that, it's not too bad. Other than dates and events like this, I usually just let it go. It kind of has its own curl.

Do you wax and twirl it around a pencil? I hear that's one method.

O'Toole: It's definitely some wax. I took some wax and get it all and get behind it and curl it up.

When did this become a passion and commitment of yours?

O'Toole: It definitely became a commitment after the roster picture my first year here at WVU. I had a great game and Pat McAfee, everyone referred to him as "Boomstick" because of his powerful leg. After I averaged like 50 yards against William & Mary, everyone started calling me "Boomstache." I just thought it was a funny thing and kept it. The mullet and the 'stache was a huge hit with the West Virginia fans.

So once you've branded yourself like that, you're stuck, right?

O'Toole: Definitely. I've told a couple people here that if I shave it now, I'll probably get some hate mail from some fans.

Do you appreciate the fan-favorite status you have now?

O'Toole: I enjoy having people laugh, and if I can make them laugh, I love that. We were at Baylor and our kicker, Michael Molinari, he gets mad at me because I came off the field and the fans were chanting 'Olé, Olé, Olé,' but it was 'O'Toole, O'Toole, O'Toole.' He comes off and says, 'I hate you man!' I asked why. He said, 'Even at away games, you're the fan favorite.' I just started laughing.

Were you impressed by the Oregon State kicker who shaved his chest last year?

O'Toole: Yeah, Trevor Romaine. He's from Centennial High School, I actually kick with him on weekends when I'm back home in California. He's a goofy guy, too. I saw that picture with the big beard and the glasses and thought it was brilliant. Trevor is a great guy.

You're wearing USA socks today. What were your other options?

O'Toole: I had to go USA. I have a couple pairs, I think nine. I have Jesus on one. I have Sugar Daddy socks. Beach balls. Anchors. Captains. Some floral socks. I don't have any argyles. We've elevated to a new level.

I notice you have a scar on the top of your head. What's the story there?

O'Toole: I had surgery when I was two months old. My soft spot closed, and so at four months, they had to cut me open and cut a strip of skull out. That's been a scar I've had my whole life. My parents were worried how I would respond to it when I was growing up. I just used to tell people it was a shark bite and they'd laugh and think it was awesome. It doesn't bother me too much.

How would you sum up your career at West Virginia thus far?

O'Toole: It's been a wild ride. It's awesome. Coming in and having that first game against Williams & Mary and doing as well as I did in my first Division I game, it was awesome for me and my confidence. It's like, 'OK, I'm here and this is why I'm here.' All I can do is keep getting better and I strive for that every day.

Do you enjoy the long, long trips to Big 12 road games? What's your perspective on that?

O'Toole: I love it. I've always loved away games. At home games, you have the advantage and all that. But away games give such a different feeling. You're going to some place new, you see new sights. I was telling my dad, this is the most I've ever traveled. I've been to more states in the past year than I have in my entire life.

Are you a guy who dresses up for road trips to complement the 'stache?

O'Toole: I definitely try to dress up as much as I can. I love putting on some slacks and nice shoes. With a mustache this classy, you have to look classy.