2012 Preview: Special Teams

Looking at the special teams unit as we head into 2012

Kick Returner

Starter- Devonte Christopher

Contributors- Charles Henderson, Reggie Dunn

At kick returner, expect the Utes to utilize a few different players this year. Senior DeVonte Christopher is always dangerous with the ball in his hands. Senior Reggie Dunn entered last season as an all-conference candidate at KR, though failed to break any big plays. Redshirt freshman Charles Henderson brings an impressive high school resume to the table, and looked like a real threat last season before ending his season early with a knee injury. With the rule changes to college football kickoffs, expect this unit to get much more work than in previous seasons.

Punt Returner

Starter- Charles Henderson

Backups- Geoff Norwood, Lewis Walker, DeVonte Christopher

Another solid group for the Utes. In the spring Lewis Walker was taking most of the reps at this position, but as injuries healed and new additions joined the team the competition grew and others took his place. Charles Henderson showed a lot of talent at this position last season before being injured and should be a solid returner once again in 2012. Geoff Norwood has as much speed at anybody on the team and an elusiveness that make him a threat to take one to the house on any given play. If injuries occur once again or all else fails with the first two both Lewis Walker and DeVonte Christopher are solid options at the position as well.

Kickers and Punters

Starters- Coleman Petersen (kicker) Sean Sellwood (punter)

Backup- Nick Marsh for place-kicker and punter (Tom Hackett is also Co-backup punter)

Coleman Petersen is a polarizing figure for Utes fans. He had a really solid 2011-2012 season for the Utes, being named honorable mention in the pac12 and two-time Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week. On the flipside, Coleman Petersen was the fall guy in the Colorado game, failing to connect on three field goals that could have potentially taken the Utes to the Pac-12 championship game. Petersen has had an inconsistent pre-season, but has picked it up as of late, and is clearly the guy for the Utes with his experience from last season. Sean Sellwood is a good, borderline great punter. Last year, Sean averaged 45 yards per punt and looks to improve on that number in 2012. He is a good athlete and has displayed it several times on fake punts (3 for 3 on fake punts in 2011). Sean Sellwood has a good shot at being an All-Conference punter, and an outside shot at All-American honors.

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