We continue our Conference USA Preseason Position Reviews by shifting our focus to special teams in C-USA as kickers are next up. 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-C-USA performers are at this position or there is good-to-great depth across the board. You obviously want your team to be here.
1. Charlotte: Jonathan Cruz made second team All C-USA as a freshman, going 17-of-22 with a conference long 56 yard made field goal under his belt. Cruz was 8-for-10 on field goals longer than 40 yards and was a perfect 27-of-27 on PATs.
2. Old Dominion: Nick Rice enters his third year as the place kicker for ODU. Rice is 67-of-68 on PATs, and 29-of-38 on field goal attempts in his career (8-of-14 on FGs longer than 40 yards).
3. FIU: Third-year starter Jose Borregales has made 78 percent of his field goals in his career. Borregales has only missed one PAT in his career and has a 53 yard made field goal on his resume. Borregales was 5-of-6 from 40 yards out last season and is one of the more consistent kickers outside 40 yards in C-USA. He can be a bit spotty inside 40 yards though (9-of-12).
4. Middle Tennessee: Crews Holt was a perfect 17-of-17 on field goals 40 yards and shorter and 1-of-7 on field goals longer than 40 yards.
5. UAB: Another three-year starter, Nick Vogel is 91-of-94 on PATs and is 28-of-41 on field goals in his career. Vogel doesn’t have a strong leg, as he was 3-of-12 from 40 yards out last season.
6. Louisiana Tech: Bailey Hale was 12-of-14 inside 40 yards and 3-of-8 outside 40 yards. Hale only missed one PAT all season.
7. WKU: Alex Rinella took over for Ryan Nuss midseason and fared reasonably well. Rinella was 4-of-5 on PATs and 7-of-12 on field goals for the season.
8. Rice: Haden Tobola has graduated but given that the Owls have had some solid success in the place kicking department, it’s not too far fetched to assume Rice won’t miss a beat.
9.Marshall: Senior Justin Rohrwasser was solid inside 40 yards (14-of-16 on FGs) and pretty bad over 40 yards (1-of-5).
10. FAU: Vladimir Rivas was unreliable as a kicker, going 9-of-13 inside 40 yards and 1-of-4 outside 40 yards. Rivas missed two PATs too. Don’t be surprised if FAU has a new kicker.
11. UTEP: Jason Filley has departed so the Miners will have to start over here.
12. Southern Miss: Parker Shaunfield has graduated so there will be a new place kicker for USM this season.
13. UTSA: Jared Sackett transferred to Arkansas after a stellar freshman season.
14. North Texas: Cole Hedlund had a great season but has graduated.