2022 Special Teams Discussion

Discussion in 'Football Talk' started by OSUBasketballJunkie, Jan 11, 2022.

  1. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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  2. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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    KICKER
    1. Noah Ruggles
    2. Jake Seibert

    There won’t be any need for a field-goal kicker competition this year with Ruggles returning for his additional year of eligibility. As the only other scholarship kicker on the roster, Seibert will presumably be the next man up, though freshman walk-on Jayden Fielding could also be in the mix to challenge Seibert for that spot and potentially take over kickoff duties.

    PUNTER
    1. Jesse Mirco
    2. Michael O’Shaughnessy

    Mirco returns for his second year as Ohio State’s starting punter while O’Shaughnessy is the only other returning punter on the roster.

    LONG SNAPPER
    1. Bradley Robinson
    2. Mason Arnold

    Robinson returns for his third year as Ohio State’s starting long snapper and seventh overall year of college football. Arnold, who joined the Buckeyes last year as a preferred walk-on, is likely to be the next man up after Robinson.

    KICKOFF RETURNER
    1. Emeka Egbuka
    2. Julian Fleming

    Egbuka is the biggest home-run threat Ohio State has had on kickoff returns in years, so he should reprise that role as a sophomore. Fleming took over kickoff return duties when Egbuka was sidelined for two games last season, so the Buckeyes seem to view him as the next-best option.

    PUNT RETURNER
    1. Jaxon Smith-Njigba
    2. Cameron Martinez

    Smith-Njigba took over punt return duties from Garrett Wilson midway through last season, so he’ll likely be in line to continue in that role in 2022. If the Buckeyes decide they don’t want to risk their star receiver on special teams, Martinez could be an option to take his place.
     
  3. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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    SPECIALISTS
    Returning Scholarship Players: Noah Ruggles (K), Jesse Mirco (P), Jake Seibert (K)
    Newcomers: None on scholarship
    Total Scholarship Players: 3
    Walk-ons: Bradley Robinson (LS), Mason Arnold (LS), Dominic DiMaccio (K), Jayden Fielding (K), Max Lomonico (LS), Michael O'Shaughnessy (P), Garrison Smith (K)

    Ohio State returns all three of its starting specialists from last season – Ruggles, Mirco and Robinson – giving the Buckeyes excellent stability at kicker, punter and long snapper.

    It’s unlikely Ohio State will actually keep five kickers on its roster for the fall season – the Buckeyes typically only have two or three specialists at each position on their active roster – but they have an abundance of depth there if they need it with a second scholarship kicker in Seibert and a preferred walk-on with future starter potential in Fielding.
     
  4. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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  5. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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    • Cameron Martinez took the first rep at punt returner during Tuesday’s practice, followed by Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Julian Fleming.
     
  6. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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    Ryan Day says Noah Ruggles “needed some time off” but is returning to the team. Day jokes that he’s “lost count” of the number of kickers on the team, with three now on scholarship.
     
  7. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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  8. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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    ON THE SPECIAL TEAMS
    • "Special teams are a third of the game. It's huge."
    • "I feel really good about our return guys."
    • Day said having solid special teams will make Ohio State an elite team. He also looks forward to having some younger players step forward and make a name for themselves on the unit.
     

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