Wednesday, July 21, 2010

MWC unit previews: Special Teams

Preseason practices are just weeks away.  To get you there, the Wimple begins the MWC unit rankings, starting with special teams. 
Kickers: Utah returns the only a 90%+ kicker, Joe Phillips.

TCU and Wyoming each return 80%+ kickers in Ross Evans and Ian Watts, respectively. 

Colorado State, BYU, New Mexico, and AFA return 70%+ kickers: Ben DeLine, Mitch Payne, James Aho, and Erik Soderberg.

UNLV and SDSU have new kickers, probably Nolan Kohorst and Brian Shields.
Punters: San Diego State, Wyoming, and Utah return the best punters, in Brian Stahovich, Austin McCoy, and Sean Sellwood, who each averaged at or over 43 ypp (Sellwood averaged 42.9, which is close enough for the Wimple).

BYU and CSU return 40+ ypp punters in Riley Stephenson and Pete Kontodiakos.

TCU's Anson Kelton serves to remind readers that past performance is no guarantee of future results: in 2008 he averaged over 41 ypp, but didn't best 38 ypp in 2009. He returns in 2010, hoping to return to the 40+ club.

New Mexico, AFA, UNLV start new punters, probably Ben Skaer, Keil Bartholomew, and Brendon Lemers.

Returners: AFA's return duo of Jonathan Warzeka and Reggie Rembert may be the conference's best. Anthony Wright on punt returns completes the conference's most dangerous trifecta in the return game. However, TCU's Jeremy Kerley handles both duties, and with highlight reel aplomb. The Frogs do not have a clear #2, and may be vulnerable if Kerley gets injured.

Behind the Academy and TCU, Utah is probably the best situated for returns. Shaky Smithson and DeVonte Christopher field kickoffs, with Smithson and Luke Matthews handling the punts.

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