The good, the bad, the question - P/PK concludes its spring preview with a look at the Oregon State special teams.

- Punters -

The good: Jon Stowbridge has never kicked in a game but worked out with Sam Paulesu all of last year and is hungry to compete. Stowbridge is a walk-on who has just the spring to prove he can kick before freshman Kyle Loomis arrives on campus in the summer.

The bad: No proven game experience from anyone on the roster.  The directional kicking won't nearly be as good as Paulescu's so coverage will have to be especially sharp.

The question: Will Stowbridge make a run at the starting job?

The roster:

  • Junior Jon Stowbridge - will punt in the spring before freshman Kyle Loomis comes in the fall

  • Long snapper sophomore Aaron Carlson - did an excellent job taking over for Joel Cohen


- Place Kickers -

The good: The Lou Groza winner returns in Alexis Serna who led the Pac-10 in field goals made connecting on 23 of 28 (85%) attempts. He enters the season with the second-highest career percentage among active Division I players at .833 (40-48) and is 19 extra consecutive points away before he breaks the school record.

The bad: Depth. If Serna gets injured the Beavers are in for a world of hurt. You can't go wrong with a kicker having two year left after earning the award for the best kicker in the nation.

The question: With expectations very high, can Serna meet or exceed them?

Riley says:  “It’s great to know that we have two more years with Alexis. He’s one of the great stories in college football.”

The roster:

  • Junior Alexis Serna - lacks some pop on kickoffs, but is automatic from 40 in

  • Short snapper senior Joel Cohen - missed most of 3005 with a torn ACL, a tireless worker at his craft


- Returners -

The good: Sammie Stroughter has been fantastic at fielding punts. He is a great decision maker and has good hands. Gerard Lawson did not return a kick last year but worked out as a returner in practice sessions. Coye Francies and Ruben Jackson provide a speed threat. Nate Wright provides a legitimate threat as well.

The bad: Nothing.

The question: Is there a feared returner on the roster?

The roster:

  • Junior Sammie Stroughter - great decision maker who was just a few steps away from breaking one for a touchdown last year

  • Junior Coye Francies - a speedster who returned three kickoffs for touchdowns as a JC

  • Junior Gerard Lawson - tough athlete

  • Senior Ruben Jackson - quick playmaker who could put fear into the Beavers' opponents

  • Senior Nate Wright - talented runner who is working on securing the football


- Coverage -

The good: As the years roll by the team has better and better athletes and this year is no exception. There a ton of great athletes at the linebacker and receiver positions that will contribute on special teams. A few freshman could also contribute. Alan Darlin, Gerard Lawson and Eddie Stamm are just a few of the athletes that take pride in their craft weather that be kick coverage or destroying the wedge.

The bad: With every new season special team's coach Bruce Reed has to replace several key players. He has better athletes to work with but that does not necessarily mean that the new players will buy into the system. It is imperative that all players buy into the concept or the special team's will fail, especially with a new punter.

The question: Will the new players buy into the system and make the special teams a positive force in 2006?

More spring coverage - Spring Survival Guide | FlapperCast - Spring Football Preview Extravaganza | Two Deeps | Pratice Schedule | Official Spring Prospectus | Message boards

Recap - QB/RB | OL | TE/WR | DT/DE | LB | CB/S

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