UA-59049186-1 Michigan Team 137 Preview: Special Teams - Good if it Goes

Michigan Team 137 Preview: Special Teams

Projected starters: Kenny Allen (K/P), Scott Sypniewski (LS), Jabrill Peppers (KR/PR)

Could make an impact: Jehu Chesson (KR/PR), Jourdan Lewis (KR/PR), Andrew David (K/P), Quinn Nordin (K/P)

Watch out for next year: Nordin, Andrew Robinson (LS)

Last year, Michigan appeared to be going into the season with either walk-on Kyle Seychel or a then-true freshman Andrew David as their kicker and neither option seemed overly promising. Then Kenny Allen won the job and hopes for the position weren’t a great deal higher as Allen had been exclusively a punter to that point of his Michigan career. Then the season started and Allen was quite good. Inside of 40, he was nearly automatic. Outside of 40, he’s a bit of a question mark yet, as he didn’t get a great many opportunities from that distance a year ago. He’s got the leg to hit from that length, though. In addition to being the team’s kicker, this year the redshirt senior will be the team’s punter. Again, he’s got a big leg, but doesn’t seem to possess the kind of accuracy that Blake O’Neill did. O’Neill was a bigger contributor to the team that he gets credit for (punters are people too, shout-out to Michigan alum Rich Eisen for that one), as his pinpoint accuracy helped Michigan win some field position battles. The lack of that this year is a slight concern, but Allen should be at least fine.

Redshirt junior Scott Sypniewski returns as the team’s long snapper. The team also has redshirt sophomore Andrew Robinson available.

Redshirt freshman Andrew David was being tried out as a pooch punter during the spring. That Michigan used a scholarship on a kicker this year after using one on David last year doesn’t seem to say good things about David’s chances of ever being a major contributor. That kicker brought in this year is Quinn Nordin, the top-ranked kicker in the country by Brandon Kornblue, who ranks such things and puts on specialist camps. Nordin’s got a big leg, but for some reason, didn’t get to show it off all that much a year ago in high school, as his team only attempted three field goals all season. He can punt as well. Ideally, he redshirts this year.

I’ve listed redshirt sophomore Jabrill Peppers as the team’s starting returner because he is the best athlete the Wolverines have. Since he is the best athlete the Wolverines have, he is also going to be used at several other positions, so he may not actually end up being a returner in order to keep his workload from being too heavy, which was the case last year. When he did return kicks last year, he was very good.

Also very good were senior Jourdan Lewis and redshirt senior Jehu Chesson. Lewis got more work last year, Chesson housed a kickoff return. Michigan will be fine no matter who amongst that trio ends up as the returner.

Twitter: @KSchroeder_312


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