Quick links:
 Latest Team Rankings
 Free Rivals Alerts
 Member Services
ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports

August 18, 2010

Preseason unit rankings: Special teams

Here is part seven of our national unit rankings.

We are unveiling one unit per day and will end Thursday with overall coaching staffs.

The rankings take into account what the players have accomplished, how we think the players will do this season and sheer talent. But production does trump potential.

Here are the special teams rankings. Next up: coaching staffs.

SPECIAL TEAMS UNIT RANKINGS

1. IOWA
BUZZ
: There might not be a better kicker-punter combination in the Big Ten than the senior duo of Daniel Murray and Ryan Donahue. The Hawkeyes have weapons in the return game, and Colin Sandeman led the conference in punt returns. And not surprising for a team whose coaches put so much emphasis on the little things, Iowa was excellent in coverage last season.

2. NEBRASKA
BUZZ
: Alex Henery is an elite kicker and punter, and Niles Paul is dangerous on returns. The kick-coverage unit was good last season, but the punt coverage needs a big upgrade.

3. GEORGIA
BUZZ
: The kicker/punter combination of Blair Walsh and Drew Butler is the best in the nation, and CB Brandon Boykin is a dangerous kick returner. The coverage units need a lot of improvement, though; the kickoff coverage was the worst in the SEC and 117th nationally last season.

4. UCLA
BUZZ
: Senior Kai Forbath is the nation's best kicker, and sophomore Jeff Locke is among the nation's top punters. The Bruins need to upgrade their return and coverage units, though.

5. FLORIDA
BUZZ
: P Chas Henry is one of the best in the nation, and the coverage units are strong. K Caleb Sturgis has a strong leg and is capable of making kicks from 55-plus yards, but he must become more consistent. The Gators need a new return man to replace Brandon James.

6. OKLAHOMA
BUZZ
: The kicker is a concern, but punt returner Ryan Broyles and P Tress Way are tremendous. OU also has strong coverage units.

7. TCU
BUZZ
: Ross Evans is one of the Mountain West's top kickers, P Anson Kelton is adequate, and Jeremy Kerley is one of the nation's most dangerous return men. The Horned Frogs have strong coverage units, as well.

8. OREGON STATE
BUZZ
: K Justin Kahut is good, P Johnny Hekker is adequate and James Rodgers is dangerous on returns. The Beavers do a nice job in coverage, too.

9. STANFORD
BUZZ
: Chris Owusu returned three kickoffs for TDs in '09 and might be the best kick returner in the nation. K Nate Whitaker is reliable, PR Richard Sherman is solid, P David Green is OK and the coverage units are good.

10. BOISE STATE
BUZZ
: Kyle Brotzman is one of the best kicker/punters in the nation. WR Titus Young doubles as a dangerous kick returner, and the coverage units should be strong. Boise needs a new punt returner, though.

11. FLORIDA STATE
BUZZ
: CB Greg Reid led the nation in punt-return average last season. The Seminoles also return K Dustin Hopkins, who has a strong leg but must become more consistent, and P Shawn Powell. The coverage units were OK last season.

12. TULSA
BUZZ
: The Golden Hurricane could have the best kicker (Kevin Fitzpatrick), punter (Michael Such) and punt returner (Damaris Johnson) in Conference USA. Their coverage units were good last season, too.

Don't overlook these 5: LSU, Maryland, Miami, Ohio U., Wisconsin

(Rankings by Rivals.com staffers Olin Buchanan, Tom Dienhart, David Fox, Mike Huguenin and Steve Megargee.)



Florida State NEWS

[More]

Latest Headlines:


 

Rivals.com is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
Site-specific editorial/photos Warchant.com. All rights reserved. This website is an officially and independently operated source of news and information not affiliated with any school or team.
About | Advertise with Us | Contact | Privacy Policy | About our Ads | Terms of Service | Copyright/IP policy | Yahoo! Sports - NBC Sports Network

Statistical information 2014 STATS LLC All Rights Reserved.