Wow, I'm getting this in under the gun. Whew.
The projected depth chart is supposed to be out tomorrow on www.kstatesports.com (it's blank right now), and I wanted to try and get everyone in before that happened. Fortunately, it looks like I'll be able to do that.
In the past couple of weeks, I've profiled every other position group on the team, but I've saved this group, special teams, for last.
This is obvious for one reason, and it's ironic for two reasons. First, it's obvious because no one ever really thinks about special teams. Nearly every single fan will sweat over who the backup running back will be before they care about their punter or their placekicker. However, that's ironic, because special teams are every bit as important as the other two units, and many, many more games have been won or lost on the foot of the kicker, punter or placekicker, as opposed to many of the other positions. Aside from the quarterback, it's hard to find a position, other than kickers, where the play's outcome is based almost solely on their performance.
The second irony of this is the fact that of all of the units Kansas State has placed on the field in the past few seasons, special teams are FAR AND AWAY the best unit KSU's had. In terms of national ranking, KSU has been at or near the very top in certain special teams categories in the past few years. Last year, Kansas State was second in the nation in kicks/punts blocked. In 2007, the Wildcats were fourth in the nation in punting average. Despite horrible defense in the past two seasons, special teams kept this team afloat and in bowl contention.
Will that happen this season? Who will help KSU keep the special teams tradition alive in 2009?
#9 Ryan Doerr
Class: Redshirt Freshman
Previous Starter (Y/N): No
#10 D.J. Fulhage
Previous Starter (Y/N): Yes (10 games)
#17 George Pierson
Previous Starter (Y/N):
#19 Josh Cherry
Previous Starter (Y/N): No
#42 Corey Adams
Previous Starter (Y/N): Yes (24 games)
Honors: Player Representative (2009)
Projected Depth Chart:
Placekicker: Josh Cherry
Punter: Ryan Doerr
Long Snapper: Corey Adams
After the graduation of Brooks Rossman, the only placekicker left on the roster is Josh Cherry, the junior from Nebraska. Granted, he's only attempted two extra point attempts in his career at Kansas State, and he was successful on his only field goal attempt during the Spring Game. He will most likely begin the season as both the starting placekicker and handle kickoff duty.
Now, I'm going to warn you that I'm not kidding when I make the following statement: Redshirt Freshman, Ryan Doerr, is the best player on this football team.
No, I'm not kidding; he really is the best player.
During the Spring Game, Doerr booted some of the most beautiful, spiraling punts I've ever seen. Now, most of the time, I don't spend a lot of time analyzing a punt, but his were just a thing of beauty. After a fifty-eight yard bomb, Doerr experienced something akin to knighthood. He jogged back over to the sidelines, and when he got there, Bill Snyder greeted him with a, "Good job," and...a tap on the butt. For those of you who follow Kansas State football, you know how rare that really is. He averaged 45.4 yards per punt on his nine attempts during the Spring Game (as he kicked for both squads). If that happened to be his average in the 2008 season, he would have had the third best average in the entire country.
To back up Doerr, the primary candidate is senior George Pierson. A former JUCO transfer, Pierson averaged 40.5 yards per punt on ten attempts last season. During the Spring Game, he only averaged 35.8 yards a punt, and he was overshadowed by the clinic Doerr put on. The other punter, junior DJ Fulhage, is most likely going to compete with Pierson for back up duties.
To round it out, long snapper, Corey Adams, will look to start at the position for the third consecutive year. A former #1 ranked recruit at the position, Adams will look to add to his resume as the best long snapper in the nation.
Somehow, I found a YouTube video for the kid. Here it is.
Corey Adams (via dasstc)