Hoping They're Special

Special teams are always an important part of any football team and the Hurricanes are breaking in a lot of new players on that unit this year. Read on to find out why certain guys have the roles they have, what is expected of them, and how a weakness from the spring has become a team strength...

The Hurricanes will have a brand new field goal kicker, pinter, and kickoff specialist this season. They'll also have a new primary punt returner and one new kickoff return guy.

Time's are changing and head coach Randy Shannon is excited about the changes.

"I'm happy to see that because you got one guy concentrating on one thing compared to what we started off in the spring," he said. "Those guys stepped up because of the competition around them."

The Canes have three players who will each handle one part of the kicking duties. Matt Bosher will punt. Darren Daly will handle kickoffs. Francesco Zampogna will handle field goals. Shannon talked about why that's interesting.

"It's funny because Bosher came in as the kicker," he said. "Daly came in as the punter and they switched because of the competition in practice. I was surprised with all three of them."

Shannon spoke about each of the three kick specialists.

Bosher -- "He is the best punter because of his hangtime and distance. He kicked a 50-some yard field goal in high school and now he's the punter."

Daly -- "Daly is the best kickoff guy we got. He can kick them out the endzone and against the wind he's been kicking it down to the three or four."

Zampogna -- "He, ironically, has been the best field goal guy. He reminds me of a Carlos Huerta situation. He came in, graduated, got a 6th year, came out again, and he's done a great job for us."

Ryan Hill and Richard Gordon will start off as the team's kickoff return guys. Hill returned four kickoffs last year for a total of 68 yards. Gordon, at 6-foot-4 and 270 pounds, might be the team's biggest return man ever. Freshman sensation Graig Cooper will handle the punts heading into the season.

Ross Abramson will be the team's snapper, taking over for John Rochford from last season.


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