Spring Football Preview: Specialists

This is a series of previews at each position that will be continued throughout the week leading up to the start of spring football at Oklahoma State on March 5.

The only open slot among the specialists on the special teams is at kick returner where the nation's kickoff leader Grant Jones has graduated. Special teams coordinator and associate head coach Joe DeForest will have plenty of candidates to chose from for that position but it will likely be preseason camp in August before that spot is really scrutinized. There will be plenty of candidates coming in this fall, including William Cole of Cedar Hill, Hubert Anyiam of North Garland, and Kendall Hunter of Tyler , any of whom could jump into that competition.

The biggest question among specialists may be who will kick off and that could get a good look during the spring. DeForest returns kicker Jason Ricks, who was 57-of-59 on PATs and 10 of 12 on field goals last season. He also returns punter Matt Fodge, who averaged better than 44 yards a punt. Also back are deep snapper Zach Allen (two years with no bad snap), and backup punter and holder Cole Reynolds. Not returning is backup kicker Bruce Redden, who did handle kickoffs. There is also recruited walk-on in red-shirt freshman Elliott Goudge at kicker. Ricks, Fodge, Reynolds, and Goudge have all kicked off in the past in high school. Ricks and Fodge have done it some in practice and in games. The goal will be to find the kicker that can deliver the most kickoffs in and out the back of the end zone.

In the return game, which gets a little work in the spring primarily on punt returns, there is returning starter Perrish Cox and backup Tommy Devereaux along with Artrell Woods, who has worked it a lot in practice.

DeForest also returns a lot of young players that got work on the coverage units last season. Thus, the overall process of building coverage units should be smoother and with more experienced special teams participants there should be an improvement on the 22 yards per kickoff return and the 11.7 yards per punt return from last season.

Again, the biggest question on special teams will be who will kick off for the Cowboys?

Specialists Projected Spring Depth Chart

85 Jason Ricks, 6-2, 200, Jr., Austin (Round Rock Westwood), Texas
37 Elliott Goudge, 6-0, 195, RS Fr., San Antonio (San Antonio Christian), Texas

18 Matt Fodge, 6-1, 195, Jr., Garland, Texas
38 Cole Reynolds, 6-2, 225, So., Edmond (Memorial), Okla.

Deep Snapper
55 Zach Allen, 6-1, 255, Jr., Edmond (Memorial), Okla.

38 Cole Reynolds, 6-2, 225, So., Edmond (Memorial), Okla.
11 Zac Robinson, 6-3, 210, So., Littleton (Chatfield), Colo.

Punt Returns
16 Perrish Cox, 6-1, 180, So., Waco, Texas
10 Tommy Devereaux, 6-0, 180, Sr., Duncanville, Texas

Kick Returns
16 Perrish Cox, 6-1, 180, So., Waco, Texas
10 Tommy Devereaux, 6-0, 180, Sr., Duncanville, Texas
83 Artrell Woods, 6-1, 190, So., Bryan, Texas

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