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2020 K-State Football Position Preview: Special Teams

#10 Blake Lynch Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

This preview is going to be a bit short, but important. Just like the starting placekicker for the Kansas State Wildcats.

Blake Lynch may only be 5’5” 148lbs, but the Wichita-native is consistent and accurate. He starts the 2020 season on the Lou Groza Award watch list, after being a candidate last season while being snubbed earning a Honorable Mention nod on the 2019 All-Big 12 Team. He also tied the K-State record of 15-straight made field goals while going 19-21 over the course of the season. That 90.5% was good enough for third in school history for a single season. Oh, and he’s already started work on his MBA.

The other half of the primary kicking unit is less certain after the graduation of Devin Anctil. The expected front-runner for the job is Ty Zenter, who will also likely handle primary kickoff duties, but there’s also a possibility that walk-ons Taiten Winkel or Jack Blumer could also see some reps at the punter (hopefully they won’t bee needed much here) or the kickoff (hopefully we’ll need lots of guys here so nobody’s leg falls off kicking off so much) spots. Winkel was Zenter’s replacement at Butler CC after Zenter left for K-State before last season. Blumer played QB and punter just up the road from Manhattan in Marysville, and that combo always creates fan dreams of gadget plays on punts.

The snapping duties will likely stay split between Randen Plattner and Wesley Burris. Plattner was the primary snapper on kicks (fied goals and extra points), while Burris handled all the snaps for the punt unit.

Expect the primary kick returner to be K-State’s lone 2019 All-American, Joshua Youngblood, but don’t be surprised if there is some rotation at that spot. Not only is it a great place to get young talent on the field, but some teams call for different looks on kick returns. The same goes for punt returns, though there’s a bit more emphasis on experience in that role, where there is less protection before the ball hits the returners hands. Phillip Brooks scored on a punt return last year, and handled a dozen kickoffs. This is still one of those areas where K-State can change the game, and create an edge against teams with a larger talent pool, so don’t expect #ReturnerU to go anywhere anytime soon.