There is no single special teams coach this year since they added another coach to the defensive side of the ball, so the coaching duties have been split among the staff. Ron Lee is in charge of punt return team, Fred Jackson works with the kickoff return team, Mike DeBord takes the punt team and Steve Stripling oversees the kickoff team. Not having a special teams coach might actually be a good thing for the Michigan program since each coach taking a part in the special teams should lead to having the best players on special teams with almost every coach contributing.
Garrett Rivas #38 - 5th year senior (FG Kicker) has been selected to the Preseason Watch List for the Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Award and will be a four year starter. Rivas is a guy that is pretty consistent inside 40 yards, but he seems to struggle past 40 yards and does not have a booming leg. Bryan Wright #43 - freshman (FG Kicker) will probably redshirt and be ready to take over the starting field goal responsibilities in 2007.
Ross Ryan #3 - 5th year senior (Kicker/Punter) will handle the kickoff duties and possibly the punting duties as well. Ryan was the punter last year, but Michigan has Zoltan Mesko #41, a red shirt freshman punter who might get his chance if the coaches believe he can be consistent when the pressure is on. Mesko has a big time leg that has great hang time as well, but the problem he has is that one kick is great and then the next kick might go off the side of his foot.
Steve Breaston #15 - 5th year senior (WR) will be the main punt returner, but probably in certain situations Leon Hall #29 - senior (CB), Doug Dutch #81 - red shirt sophomore (WR) and Johnny Sears #25 - red shirt freshman (CB) might get their chance at returning punts to save Breaston and keep him healthy.
Steve Breaston will be the main kickoff returner, but look for Doug Dutch, Johnny Sears and possible Carlos Brown #23 - freshman (RB) as well.
Garrett Rivas Field Goal stats:
In 2005 he converted 19-of-26 field goals and 33-of-35 PATs, while for his career he has made 47-of-62 field goals and 120-of-127 PATs. Rivas has connected on 17 of 20 field goals from 20-29 yards out, 18 of 23 from 30-39 yards away, 10 of 17 between 40-49 yards and 0 of 2 from 50 yards and beyond. His career long is 47 yards which he hit on four different occasions.
Ross Ryan Kickoff and Punting stats:
In 2005 he had 40 of his 69 kickoffs downed for touchbacks, and he punted 52 times for an average of 38.3 yards a punt while booting five punts of 50 yards or better and knocking 16 punts inside the opposition's 20-yard line.
Steve Breaston Kickoff return and Punt return stats:
In 2005 he returned 29 punts for 356 yards (12.3 avg.) and 23 kickoffs for 646 yards (28.1 avg.) and one touchdown. He holds Michigan's career record in punt return yardage and is second in kickoff return yards. He is second in Big Ten history in punt return yards.
Breaston in his career has 98 punt returns for 1,267 yards (12.9 avg.) and three touchdowns. He has already set Michigan season records in punt returns (45) and yards (619) in 2003. He has 60 kickoff returns for 1,526 yards (25.4 avg.) and one TD during his career. He has gained over 1,300 all-purpose yards all three seasons. He has five career games with at least 200 all-purpose yards, including a Rose Bowl record 315 yards against Texas (2005) and an Alamo Bowl record 224 yards against Nebraska (2005). Breaston is the first player in Michigan history to gain 1,000 return yards in a season during the 2005 season (1,002 yards on 52 touches), and he has joined Wisconsin's Nick Davis as the only players in Big Ten history to amass 1,000 career yards in three different categories.
Leon Hall Punt return stats:
He served as Michigan's backup punt returner the past three seasons and has 13 punt returns for 166 yards (12.8 avg.) and one touchdown during his career.
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