Position Breakdown: Special Teams

In the last installment of our continuing series on the future of Husky football, we take a look at the special teams and what to expect from the punters, kickers and the coverage units in 2008.

Returning: P Jared Ballman (Sr.); LS Danny Morovick (Sr.); K Ryan Perkins (Rs. Jr.); K Zach Gerasin (Rs. So.)*; Kiel Rasp (Rs. Fr.)*; K Erik Folk (Rs. Fr.); K Cory Rutkowski (Rs. Fr.)
* denotes walk-on

For the most part the Husky kickers and punters had a very good season.

Early on, Perkins had three field goal attempts blocked, but he made some corrections and ended the season hitting 75-percent of his attempts (15 of 20) including 5 of 7 from 40 to 49 yards out.

Perkins is an amazing story of perseverance and he still walks around with a noticeable limp due to the terrible knee injury he suffered at the end of spring ball in 2006. He has an above-average leg and he's got excellent accuracy as well.

Ballman's punting and the ability to drop kicks inside the 20 were huge for the Huskies in winning the field-position battle and he also had a good year kicking off.

Of his 71 punts, Ballman had 21 fair caught, 21 dropped inside the 20 and six touchbacks. He also averaged 40.2 yards per attempt, he had a long of 72 yards and he had 11 that went for over 50 yards.

Ballman needs to get quicker at getting the ball off and to add a few more tenths of a second to his hang-time, but he could end up being the top punter in the conference in 2008 if he continues to progress.

Morovick is a big reason for both Perkins' and Ballman's successes.

He gets the ball back quickly and it's very, very accurate.

When he arrived on campus, the coaching staff said they had never seen a snapper as good as Morovick and he's likely headed to a future in the NFL as a long-snapper, an underappreciated skill that every team relies on.

Folk struggled in camp with a back problem, but the hope is he can take over for Ballman after this season as the punter or he could wait and take over for Perkins in 2009.

He's got a big leg and he's been compared to his brother (Nick) who was one of the best in the country before he left Arizona for a job with the Dallas Cowboys.

Rasp has a slow delivery, but he's got a huge leg and he was booming kicks in camp. If he can work on the time it takes him to get the punt off, he might be the heir-apparent to Ballman.

Rutkowski and Gerasin both have big legs, but at this point Folk and Perkins are the top two kickers.

The return spots for both punts and kickoffs are completely up for grabs.

CB Vonzell McDowell was an outstanding returner in high school and he would have to be one of the leading candidates, but RB Willie Griffin, incoming WR Jermaine Kearse, incoming CB John Tate and many others are likely to get long looks during spring and fall camp.




Previous position breakdowns:

Position Breakdown: Quarterback
Position Breakdown: Tailbacks and Fullbacks
Position Breakdown: Receivers and Tight Ends
Position Breakdown: Offensive Line
Position Breakdown: Defensive Line
Position Breakdown: Linebackers
Position Breakdown: Defensive Backs



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