Spring Retrospective: Replacing Ben Grogan Won’t Be Easy

first_imgFG1MATT AMMENDOLASOPHOMORE (RS) FG2JAKE MCCLUREFRESHMAN While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. DEPTH CHARTPLAYERCLASS LSTANNER MORGANSOPHOMORE PZACH SINORJUNIOR (RS) LSSAM WALKINGSTICKSOPHOMORE (RS) As we close out our spring retrospective series, let’s take a look at the crucial yet often overlooked specialists.SummaryFor many, the kickoff represents a final chance to run to the fridge and punting is our cue to scoff at Mike Yurcich’s playcalling or make another run to the fridge.Unfortunately, specialists don’t get much pub unless they make some type of horrible mistake. Ask former Michigan punter Blake O’Neill, whose fumble cost his team a game. Or Texas punter Michael Dickson, who blundered a snap against Oklahoma State in 2015. He was able to catch the ball and pooch it out of bounds but the damage was done and Ben Grogan was able to chip in a game winner.All the important things punters and kickers do go widely unnoticed. Few appreciate the strategic weapon a skilled punter can be or pay attention to how many of your kickoffs result in touchbacks.Biggest NewsBen Grogan, OSU’s all-time leading scorer, has exhausted his eligibility and it’s time for a new kicker to take over. Whether it’s third-year Cowboy and kickoff specialist Matt Ammendola or incoming freshman Jake McClure, the Cowboys would like to find an answer quickly.There were a couple of changes in special teams for the spring. Kicker Max Allan was not included on the spring roster. The 2016 freshman split kickoff duties with Matt Ammendola against Southeastern Louisiana and Central Michigan but did not play the rest of the season.Kevin Mahon transferred in from Tarrant County Community College, apparently to fill that spot. The redshirt senior is listed as a scout team contributor but is the only other kicker on campus until 2017 signee Jake McClure arrives prior to fall camp.It will also be very interesting to see who earns reps at both kickoff and punt returner. Over the last couple of years, the Cowboys have lacked the big-play threat we’ve gotten used to from the likes of Justin Gilbert, Josh Stewart, Dez Bryant and Tyreek Hill.Camp StarThis goes to Zach Sinor simply because he is the most valuable player on special teams. The Ray Guy snub was the most effective punter in college football last season. A nation-leading 62.5 percent of his punts landed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. Only one of his 56 punts ended in the end zone.As a result, Oklahoma State led the nation in opponent’s starting field position and was sixth in net starting field position. He will again be relied upon heavily this season.ProjectionThere aren’t a ton of questions here. I think Ammendola has a solid shot at owning both kickoff and place-kicking duties in Week 1. But Jake McClure should be just behind him. KOMATT AMMENDOLASOPHOMORE (RS)last_img

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