Post Spring Analysis: Specialists

The second tenure of Mike Riley brings a new, more committed attitude toward special teams play. Riley's focus was evident from the beginning of practice as the Beavers devoted at least 30-45 minutes each day to special teams tasks.

Riley also hired a committed, in your face type of coach to administer the execution. LeCharles McDaniel, affectionately known as, “The Drill Sergeant,” quickly established a hard working atmosphere around special teams play. Improvement in special teams play should be evident with the added attention and focus from the coaches and players.


PAT/Field Goals/Kickoff

Kirk Ylineimi returns after a stellar season in 2002 when he made 15 of 16 field goals and 45 of 46 extra points. Ylineimi had a strong spring by hitting the majority of his field goal attempts. The 6-foot-1, 194-pound Oregonian is automatic from 40 yards in, but does not have the leg to make field goals from 50-yards consistently.

Ylineimi will be doing the kickoff duties for the Beavers in 2003. Despite his inconsistency from 50-yards out he has the leg to force touchbacks and we will most likely see many kicks reach the goal line.

Backing up Ylineimi is sophomore John Dailey. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Jesuit graduate showed a strong leg during spring practice by consistently knocking down field goals from 40 yards in. When his time comes after the gradation of Ylineimi he will be a solid kicker, perhaps with a stronger leg than Ylineimi’s.

Kirk Ylineimi looks to have another solid season.



Carl Tobey returns for another season as the Beavers punter.

Returning for 2003 is senior Carl Tobey. The 6-foot-2, 235-pound Washington native did not have a punt blocked in the 2002 campaign. Tobey executed 74 punt attempts averaging 40.3 per kick. Tobey is a solid player and will consistently punt the ball 40+ yards, with the leg to eclipse the 60-yard mark. The senior has good hands and will have another solid season for the men in black.

Backing up Tobey is John Millar a 6-foot-3, 200 pound player from Beaverton, OR. The senior is not as skilled as Tobey and will most likely not receive any playing time. Due to both punters being seniors; look for the Beavers to aggressively recruit an all-state kicker.



Holding for extra points will be the punter Carl Tobey. Evident from the 93.8 percent success rate of Ylinemi’s kicks is proof enough that Tobey has good hands. Snapping for the Beavers will be Noah Happe, if he qualifies. In Happe’s absence, defensive end Dan Rothwell practiced snapping for all types of kicks. Rothwell had to learn the ropes of snapping and often had trouble with the ball. With more practice and patience the big end will be a consistent snapper.


Kick-off Return

Five players are currently slated for returning kickoffs in 2003; cornerback Brandon Catanese, running backs Ryan Cole and Dwight Wright, and wide receivers Josh Hawkins and Deondre Alexander.

Catanese sits atop the depth chart and rightly so. He has the speed and the right mindset to return kicks. He is deceptively fast and runs straight up the field after the kick, something several other players have trouble doing. He also follows his blockers well.

Ryan Cole and Brandon Catanese will return kicks for the Beavers in 2003.

Cole provides explosive, punishing speed and will stand next to Catanese on kickoffs. Hawkins and Wright follow. Hawkins returned kicks in 2001 and showed the ability to find holes and exploit the coverage’s weaknesses. Wright probably will not receive many kickoffs, he does run well in traffic, but dances too much. The shifty, explosive Alexander rounds out the list with the ability to find the hole and run in between the tackles.


Punt Return

Returning punts will be corner back Aric Williams and wide receivers James Newson, Josh Hawkins, and Travis Brown.

Williams currently is the number one return man. He has good lateral moves and can make people miss, but dances around too much. Sometimes he needs to take the ball straight up the field without making several fakes first. Williams also exposes the ball too much which could lead to fumbles.

Keeping with Riley’s philosophy of putting the best players on special teams, Newson follows Williams. Newson has the skills to become an impact return man, but suffers from the same tendency as Williams. At times he dances around too much. Given this is Newson’s first year as a Beaver punt returner, he will learn what works and what doesn’t with game experience.

Following Newson is Hawkins, who was already discussed in the kickoff paragraph, and Travis Brown.

Aric Williams will return punts for the men in black in '03.

Brown is a small man at 5-foot-10, 170-pounds, but is very quick and shifty. Opponents could underestimate the Arizona native enabling Brown to rack up yards.

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