Position Battles- Special Teams

The Utes return the bulk of their main special teams weapons

Placekicker
Candidates: Coleman Peterson, Nick Marsh
Favorite: Peterson
Dark Horse: None
Winner: Peterson

Coleman Peterson took over the kicking duties last year and was stellar throughout the year (I'm blocking out the Colorado game). The job is his for now unless he has a spring like he did last year, in which case, Nick Marsh will look to make it a competition.

Punter
Candidates: Sean Sellwood, Nick Marsh
Favorite: Sellwood
Dark Horse: None
Winner: Sellwood

Sean Sellwood's second half of 2011 looked a lot like his first half of 2010 where he was one of the top punters in the country. If he can maintain that form, he'll be on the short list for the Ray Guy award. If not, and he struggles the way he has at times, Nick Marsh will be ready to jump in and take his place.

Punt Returner
Candidates: Griff McNabb, Luke Matthews, Delshawn McClellon
Favorite: McNabb
Dark Horse: McClellon
Winner: McNabb

It's clear that Whittingham wants consistency and someone with solid hands instead of a game-breaker returning punts. McNabb will likely keep his job. McClellon is a speedster with good hands. If he can catch the ball, he'll make some noise, but catching punts is arguably the hardest thing to do in football.

Kick Returners
Reggie Dunn, Luke Matthews, Quinton Pedroza, Ryan Lacy, Delshawn McClellon, Chandler Johnson
Favorites: Dunn, Matthews, Lacy
Dark Horses: McClellon, Pedroza
Winners: Dunn, Pedroza

Dunn has his spot set in stone and will be one of the returners and handled the majority of the returns in 2011, but the other spot is up in the air. The Utes didn't get the kind of production they wanted last season and will be looking to find someone who can bring a bit more playmaking to the kick return game. Lacy, Matthews, Pedroza, and Johnson all got their shots last year in limited roles. The guy to watch for is the true freshman McClellon, who has sub 4.4 speed and is a threat to take it to the house every time he touches it.

Long Snapper
Candidates: Patrick Green
Favorite: Green
Dark Horse: none
Winner: Green

There's really no debate to this. Patrick Green has been the longsnapper since his freshman year and will finish off his career in the same spot. Could push for all conference honors.

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