Army Special Teams Preview

A missed field goal. A fumbled punt return. One little mistake on special teams can turn a game around. Turn a win into a loss. Hopefully, Army will continue to limit its mistakes on special teams this fall. Here is a look at the Black Knights' special teamers as Armysports.com concludes its position-by-position breakdown of the team:

Placekicker

The man: Justin Koenig

The skinny: Koenig was expected to be pushed this spring by Nebraska transfer Jared Nielson. And he was. But Koenig kicked well too and kept his job. Army coach Bobby Ross admits being loyal to Koenig. He should be. A junior, Koenig converted 9-of-12 field goals last year after replacing Joe Riley, who began the season 1-of-6. Army kickers made a combined 11 field goals in Ross' first two seasons.

The future: Nielson and Adam DeMarco, both freshmen, are capable of filling in for Koenig when he graduates.

Punter

The man: Owen Tolson

The skinny: Tolson was named most improved special teams player after spring drills and Ross raved about his work ethic. The sophomore was pretty good last season, averaging 40.2 yards per punt and nailing 17 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line.

The future: Andrew Rinehart, a freshman, competed well during the spring. Still, this is Tolson's job.

Holder

The man: Walter Hill

The skinny: Hill has the best hands on the team so it makes sense that he is the holder.

The future: Rinehart is listed as second on the depth chart and Rick Lay could also be in the mix.

Kickoff returner

The man: Corey Anderson
 
The skinny: The graduation of Scott Wesley doesn't only hurt Army at running back. Wesley was a reliable kickoff man. Anderson, a sophomore, has the potential to be explosive. This could be a good fit for him.

The future: As long he doesn't turn the ball over, Anderson could be the man for two years. He does look electric at times on the field, but is still developing. Freshman Jon Douglas has earned looks at this spot.

Punt returner

The man: Corey Anderson

The skinny: Handling kickoffs and punts is a big responsibility, but Anderson may be able to pull it off. Another wide receiver, Jeremy Trimble, could also see time at that spot.

The future: Trimble could edge out Anderson because he is a smart player and isn't turnover prone. Durable and tough freshman Kenny Rackers is another possibility.

Long snappers

The men: Nicholas Lopez (punts) and Matt Weisner (placements)

The skinny: Both Lopez and Weisner are reliable and make few errors on snaps. Weisner was once told by former Army coach Todd Berry that he would spend his career as a long snapper. He is working on being a two-year starter on the offensive line.

The future: Lopez, a sophomore, could hold down both snapper positions


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