CuseNation Awards: Special Teams POY recognizes the fact that Syracuse football took a step back in 2011. However, some players had standout campaigns – and they will be recognized in the 2011 CuseNation football awards. First up is Special Teams Player of the Year.

Believe it or not, but Syracuse had a roller coaster season when both the offense and defense was not on the field. What began as a solid phase of the game, became a stagnant one. Still, some players did their part more times than not.

Nominees: Dorian Graham, Ross Krautman, Jonathan Fisher, Adam Harris

Graham was a good returner at times, and he made several solid plays as a gunner on the punt unit – though his tackling is average at best. Fisher was in a rotation at punter initially, but he snagged the job for the majority of the season and averaged about 40 yards per kick. Harris anchored the punt unit and played well on the kick return front as well. However, Krautman was the most critical player for SU on special teams.

Krautman made 15 of 19 field goal attempts in 2011, finishing with a conference-best 78.9 percentage. He made all but one of his extra points (insert Toledo joke here), and accounted for 6.5 points per game for an Orange squad that sometimes struggled to put points on the board.

The numbers were great, but it Krautman stands apart from the other nominees in other areas as well. Not only did the sophomore play through a groin issue for the majority of the second half of the season, but he was essential on a subpar kickoff coverage unit as well. On at least three occasions, he helped to save a touchdown by jetting to the sideline to help stop an emerging returner.

Krautman made four field goals against Toledo, and three more against Tulane. He also kicked a pair of game-winners in the campaign.

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