Special Teams Focus: Kickoff Return

A detailed look at who is in the mix to return kicks for the Nittany Lions this season. We also give an update on the entire return team.

In a teleconference with reporters last week, Penn State coach Bill O'Brien declined to reveal who would be returning kickoffs for the Nittany Lions this season.

“We've been looking at a lot of guys as returners,” he replied. “You'll see on Sept. 1 who returns kicks.”

That date is when Penn State opens the season with Ohio at Beaver Stadium. And O'Brien was not kidding about looking at a lot of guys.

At Tuesday's open practice, 10 different players fielded kickoffs.

They were as follows, listed in the order in which they stepped up (which may or may not mean anything):

4 Evan Lewis (WR)

22 Akeel Lynch (RB)

1 Jordan Lucas (DB)

15 Alex Kenney (WR)

2 Jake Kiley (DB)

36 Deron Thomas (RB)

16 Eugene Lewis (WR)

1 Bill Belton (TB)

10 Trevor Williams (WR)

16 Devon Pryor (DB)

The first-team kick-return unit Tuesday was as follows:

Front line:

1 Jordan Lucas (DB)

84 Matt Lehman (TE)

5 Nyeem Wartman (LB)

43 Mike Hull (LB)

17 Christian Kuntz (WR)

35 Pat Zerbe (FB)


87 Kyle Carter (TE)

9 Michael Zordich (FB)

82 Brian Irvin (TE)


22 Akeel Lynch (TB)

4 Evan Lewis (WR)

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