Army Special Teams Report Card

Army's special teams play, for the most part, was truly special this season. If only the rest of the team could have followed suit. Here is Army's special teams report card.

Punt returner
The grade: B+
The skinny:
Junior Jeremy Trimble did a fantastic job returning punts, often giving the Black Knights' offense good field position. The underachieving 'O' bumbled things from there.
Trimble was, dare we say, nimble returning punts. He had 18 returns for 325 yards (18.1 average) with two touchdowns. Trimble is the first Army player since Omari Thompson in 2000 to return two punts for a touchdown in a single season. The only other Army player to return two points in the same season is Glenn Davis in 1944.
The  future: Trimble is the man next year.

Kick returner
The grade:  C+
The skinny:
Corey Anderson and Anton McDuffie did an adequate job, although McDuffie had problems with turnovers, which resulted in his demise. We would have expected to Anderson to develop into more of a big play threat by now. But he hasn't been bad.
The Damion Hunter Experiment worked well against Tulane, but he had a terrible game against Air Force (who didn't?). Hunter returned two kickoffs he shouldn't have and one resulted in an Air Force safety.
Buy, hey, he's only a freshman.
The future: Hunter has the potential to be an exciting player. Expect him, Anderson and McDuffie to be in the mix next year.

The grade: B
The skinny:
Austin Miller turned out to be one of the best stories on the team this season.
Miller, a senior, came to West Point as a highly touted kicker. However, he did not develop as quickly as expected. He missed all of last season with a leg injury, and Justin Koenig replaced him.
Koenig converted 9-of-12 field goals in 2005 and, months later, Miller put in his request to move to the secondary. He figured it would be easier on his bad leg. However, the safety position didn't work out for him.

This kicking thing might. Miller won the job back from Koenig with a lights-out summer in which he almost never missed. He has converted 3-of-4 field goals this season.
Miller converted 12-of-17 field goals this season, including a 36-yard game-winner against Kent State. His one low point came when he missed a 34-yarder late in the third quarter against Navy that would have pulled Army to within 14-10. That miss was the difference between a B and a B+.
The future: Sophomore Jared Nielson, a transfer from Nebraska, seems to be the heir apparent to Miller.

Grade: B+
The skinny:
Owen Tolson's leg must need to rest. Thanks to the offense, he got a lot of work this season, and he never wilted. Tolson, a junior, had another impressive year. He had 49 punts for 2,067 yards with an average of 42.2 per punt and a long of 59.
Tolson didn't have a punt blocked and put 20 balls inside the 20-yard line.
The future: Tolson is back and let's hope he isn't needed as much next year. Sophomore Andrew Rinehart is a more than formidable back-up.

*Editors note: Although we aren't grading them, we would like to point out that Rinehart did a fine job holding as did Matt Weisner (long snapper on placements) and Nicholas Lopez (long snapper on punts). Top Stories