Coach Hartley Talks Special Teams

Read on to see everything Special Teams coach Todd Hartley was saying following Tuesday's practice.

Todd Hartley, Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends Coach

On freshman athlete DeeJay Dallas and his punt returning abilities…
“He could, but we had a pretty good one last year. I think he was 11th in the country, I’ll take 11th in the country in [senior wide receiver] Braxton Berrios.” 

On if he will stick with Braxton Berrios as the punt returner…
“Well, you know there is nothing wrong with giving a young guy a chance, but if it is not broke don’t fix it. That is what I was told. I like a guy back there that I know is going to make the best decision possible. When that ball is in the air and you have 11 bullets shooting down, coming at you to take your head off, you want a guy that is not scared, who’s got some stuff in his gut and is going to make the right decision. So when you a put a true freshman back there, you don’t know until you know. But I know I have a sure thing in Braxton. But DeeJay is extremely talented, you saw him make some plays today. And he has gotten work every day at punt returns and some kick returns, so he does have that ability.”

 On punting…
“Punting? I don’t know, No. 16 [Justin Vogel] was pretty good, wasn’t he? Huh? No. 16 was pretty good, he was the best punter I have ever been around. I think [head] coach [Mark] Richt even said that, and he has been doing this a lot longer than I have. But [sophomore punter] Jack Spicer right now is taking the reps with the ones. He really is the only true punter we have on the roster right now. We signed Zach Feagles, he won’t be here until the summer. But Jack’s done a great job getting the reps he can get. After Jack it is kind of like a hodgepodge of kickers. It is like ‘hey kicker, go punt.’ So Jack wants to take every rep. But [junior kicker] Marco [Baeza] stepped up and did a couple good things, and [redshirt senior kicker] Diego [Marquez]. But really focusing on Jack this spring and then we will get Feagles in the fold once he gets here in the fall.”

On who is challenging senior kicker Michael Badgley…
“Yeah, Diego [Marquez]. I mean Diego and Marco [Baeza] are getting some reps, but Michael Badgley is an unbelievable kid first off, but he is a great football player. And again he is one of those players, like you just said about Vogel, you don’t know what have until they are gone. I mean we led the conference in made field goals last year. I mean people don’t realize that. And for a guy who we didn’t know could make touchbacks going into last fall. Too what? We were almost top 10 in the country in touchbacks last year. Michael Badgley is an unbelievable football player for us, a great asset, a great weapon.”

On if Michael Badgley can punt, because players in the past have done that…
“Yeah, they can, they can. Just, he is really good at sticking that thing through the uprights. Let’s just work on that for right now. He has a strong enough leg, he could do it. If we told him to lineup at fullback right now, Mike Badgley is going to lineup up at a fullback. That is just the type of kid he is. If I’m going to war, and I wanted somebody in my fox hole, I want Mike Badgley in my fox hole with me.”


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