SR.com Top 25: P Teddy Dellagana (No. 24)

It doesn't result in touchdowns and often doesn't lead to turnovers, but a punter could have a significant influence on a game if he can alter field position with a boot of the football. Rutgers senior Teddy Dellaganna will be asked to do that in the fall, which is why he is No. 24 on ScarletReport.com's Top 25, a daily countdown examining the most important players heading into the 2010 season.

It sometimes boring, and easily overlooked, but a game can change with a simple boot of the football.

Maybe it's the punter pinning a team inside its own 5-yard line, thus forcing a change in play calling and altering the momentum of a game.

Other times it is a booming 60-yard punt to turn around field position, and the fortunes of the day. No matter how good the defense or the offense, a punt can quickly change the complexion of a game.

For those reasons, senior punter Teddy Dellaganna registers in at No. 24 on ScarletReport.com's Top 25, a daily countdown of the most important players heading into the 2010 season.

Joe Radigan experienced consistency issues during his career, but as a senior he averaged 44.1 yards per punt and pinned opposing teams inside the 20-yard line 21 times in 56 attempts. There were also 11 fair catches, which limited return opportunities.

Dellaganna has had moments in his two years as Rutgers' punter, but consistency is an issue. He averaged 41.2 yards on 55 punts as a sophomore, downing 18 inside the 20.

Last season Dellganna was better, but the inconsistencies remained as he averaged 42.2 yards on 68 punts. He pinned the opposition inside the 20-yard line 26 times.

Rutgers should be improved this season offensively, which means less pressure on the defense to hold field position. However, it also means the offense will be more equipped to take advantage of field position if special teams and the defense can provide it.

Another factor that magnifies Dellaganna's importance to the Scarlet Knights is his role on kickoffs. With San San Te concentrating on field goals, Dellaganna handled kickoffs the last two seasons.

Of his 149 kickoffs, six went for touchbacks, including five last season.

More important when it comes to kickoffs, and punts for that matter, is the ability to kick to a pre-designated area so the coverage can filter that way.

It serves no purpose to bang a 60-yard punt if the coverage is tilted to the left side of the field and the ball goes to the right side of the field.

Dellaganna has a strong enough leg to be a positive factor in games, but building consistency is also crucial.


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