Spring Preview: Special Temas

Spring football just started at the University of Miami so lets take a closer look at what the team will look like. Today, we look at the special teams.

Coach: Micheal Barrow returns for his second season as special teams coordinator. He has also served as linebackers coach since 2007.

Lost: The Canes lost long snapper Chris Ivory, who handled those duties the last few seasons for the Hurricanes.

Coming Back: Jake Wieclaw returns to handle the kickoff and field goal duties. Dalton Botts returns as the team's punter. Matt Goudis redshirted as a backup and long snapper Sean McNully will take over for Ivory. Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett returns as the primary return specialist.

The Players:
Botts (6-3/205/SR) -- A Junior College transfer last season, Botts was one of the first players in Al Golden's new recruiting class last year. He finished the season second in the conference with an average of 42.7 yards per punt. His long was 62. He should compete for honors as the top punter in the ACC this season.

Crawford (5-10/190/R-FR) -- After redshirting as a safety last season, Crawford has moved to offense where the coaches want to get the ball into his hands. He'll serve as one of two primary kick return guys to begin spring.

Dorsett (5-10/170/SO) -- Dorsett is one of the fastest players on the team. He had four kick returns for 82 yards last season and will take over the lead role there. He will also replace Travis Benjamin as the team's top punt return guy.

Goudis (6-0/170/R-FR) -- A redshirt in 2011, Goudis will push Wieclaw for kicking duties.

McNally (5-10/210/R-JR) -- A walkon, McNally takes over for Chris Ivory as the team's long snapper.

Wieclaw (6-2/195/R-SR) -- After playing behind current Atlanta Falcons kicker Matt Bosher for his first few seasons on campus, Wieclaw made the most of his starting chance in 2011. He connected on all 39 of his extra points. He also hit 11-of-14 field goals, with a long of 43. One of those 11 was a 36-yard game-winner against USF. He also limited his opponents to 18.6 yards per kick return. After the season Wieclaw was a Lou Grosza Award semi-finalist and should again be one of the top kickers in the entire ACC.

What to Expect: Wieclaw and Botts were rock solid last season and both should be among the best in the conference in 2012. Dorsett has the speed and quickness to make a lot of people miss and really make things happen in the return game. He should at least match what Benjamin did last season, if not improve upon it.


Canes Time Top Stories