Gopher Football Preview: Special Teams

Wide receiver and kick returner Troy Stoudermire is a dangerous weapon for the Golden Gophers' special team unit.

Key Starter: One of the cornerstone's of the Gopher special teams attack is the kicking ability of senior, Eric Ellestad. Last season, Ellestad had a very solid season, hitting and 13 of his 17 field goal attempts as well as making all 31 of his extra point tries. For his efforts, Ellestad received Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honors. Last season, the Gophers had five games that were within three points. If the Gophers have more close games next year, expect Ellestad to have the weight of games on his shoulders.

Player to Watch: One player that might get overlooked on the team is wide receiver and kick returner Troy Stoudermire. Fans would be wise to not underestimate Stoudermire's impact for the Gophers. Last season the 5-foot-11 junior had an amazing 1057 kick return yards which was eighth best in the country. The speedy Stoudermire averaged 24.6 yards per return, giving the Gopher quality field position on many possessions. Although he has not taken a return back for a touchdown, with enough touches Stoudermire is bound to break a big return for six this season.

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