We’ve reached the last position review everyone. Punters. The grading categories: “Great Shape,” “Good Shape,” and “We’ll See.”
To elaborate on the grades, “We’ll See” means exactly what it means. We have no idea if that position is going to turn out to be a plus due to a lack of proven contributors and questionable depth. At this time, there’s no way to know.
“Good Shape” means known commodities are at the position but there’s still room for this unit to improve. Depth is above average to good, with a player or two having the potential to make an All-C-USA Team.
“Great Shape” means all-conference performers are at this position or there is good-to-great depth across the board. You obviously want your team to be here.
1. North Texas: North Texas ranked 5th in Special Teams S&P+ last season and Alvin Kenworthy played a big part in that. Kenworthy was named an Honorable Mention last season as he had 26 punts pinned inside the 20 and 26 fair catches.
2. UTEP: Mitchell Crawford returns as an Honorable Mention. Crawford forced 26 fair catches and had 16 punts pinned inside the 20.
3. UAB: The Blazers ranked 25th in Special Teams S&P+ last year and punter Kyle Greenwell is set to return to bolster what should be one of the best special teams units in C-USA. Greenwelll forced 30 fair catches to go with 14 punts pinned inside the 20.
4. Marshall: Robert Lefevre was 59th in punt efficiency with 18 punts pinned inside the 20 and 17 fair catches.
5. Old Dominion: Bailey Cate averaged a pedestrian 39.7 average yards per punt but returners only averaged 4.3 yards with the ball. That’s usually a sign of high kicks. Cate had 26 fair catches and 18 punts pinned inside the 20.
6. WKU: Alex Rinella had a conference-best 31 fair catches but averaged 37.5 yards per punt and ranked 125th in punt efficiency. Rinella also had 24 punts pinned inside the 20.
7. Charlotte: Kyle Corbett wasn’t a huge benefit as Charlotte forced a conference-low 11 fair catches with a poor 8 punts pinned inside the 20.
8. FAU: The Owls ranked 114th in Special Teams S&P+ last season as their youngsters at kicker and punter were ones to blame. Sebastian Riella averaged just 38.1 yards per kick with 12 fair catches and a ghastly 7 punts pinned inside the 20.
9. Louisiana Tech: Davan Dyer has departed but Brady Farlow saw the field a bit and presumes to be Tech’s new punter.
10. FIU: The Panthers will have a new punter this season as second team All C-USA performer Stone Wilson has graduated.
11. Southern Miss: Zac Everett was forced 12 fair catches and had 12 punts pinned inside the 20. With the departure of all-conference performer Parker Shaunfield at kicker, USM’s special teams could be a negative this season.
12. Middle Tennessee: MTSU was 19th in punt efficiency but the person responsible, Matt Bonadies, is no longer on the team.
13. Rice: The Owls will be without stalwart Jack Fox.
The Roadrunners ranked 25th in punt efficiency thanks to Honorable Mention punter Yannis Routsas . Routsas averaged 41.9 yards a punt, a conference-best among returning punters. Yannis Routsas is actually currently in the NFL so yeah, UTSA will be starting over here.