SE: Special Teams Return Special Players
Aug. 24, 2012
Editor’s Note: K-State Sports Extra continues its nine-part look at the 2012 Wildcats with each assistant coach taking an in-depth look at his respective position. Past articles include the quarterbacks, defensive ends, interior defensive line, offensive line, linebackers, running backs/tight ends and secondary. Today’s article highlights the special teams units with associate head coach Sean Snyder.
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Well, there’s every reason to believe that K-State’s specialists in 2012 should be really good as there are returning starters at every position.
RETURNING is kicker Anthony Cantele, who was true on 48-of-49 extra points last year, plus he connected on 17-of-23 field goals with a long of 54 yards. On kickoffs, he averaged 62 yards, which included 14 touchbacks.
“Anthony is a very, very good kicker. We expect an awful lot from him,” said associate head coach/special teams coordinator Sean Snyder. “He’s very good at scoring, and he’s very good with his kickoffs. He has the capabilities to put it in the end zone, and that’s what you need from your kickoff unit.”
RETURNING is punter Ryan Doerr, who averaged 40.8 yards last year with 14 boots downed inside the 20-yard-line and 32 fair catches when he was a candidate for the Ray Guy Award.
“Ryan has the capabilities to be an NFL guy,” said Snyder. “He has the ability to make all the kicks that we ask him to do, but he just has to have another year when he does it again.”
Doerr enters the season sixth in school history in yards and eighth in career average at 41.1.
Mark Krause, a redshirt-sophomore, will enter the season as the No. 2 punter.
RETURNING is long snapper Marcus Heit, a 6-foot-2, 238-pound junior, who was true on all 128 of his punt/field goal/extra point snaps a year ago, but he will be pressed by sophomore Dalton Converse, who snapped in the Cotton Bowl.
“They’re two completely different runners,” said Snyder. “Tramaine is quick, shifty and bounces around, so he is hard to tackle. He’s a step slower than Tyler, but he can run.”
Last year, Thompson averaged 12.3 yards on 10 returns, while Lockett averaged 6.3 yards on six returns.
RETURNING are co-kickoff return specialists in Lockett and Thompson, who averaged 35.2 yards and 19.3 yards, respectively, last year with two of Lockett’s take-backs going for touchdowns.
Lockett’s average set a K-State record, while his touchdown returns against Texas Tech (100 yards) and Kansas (97 yards) came in consecutive games, which was a first in Wildcat history.
For his heroics, Lockett was a First Team Walter Camp All-American, the Big 12’s Offensive Freshman of the Year, while he received votes for Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year honors.
“First, he’s very good, but second, he’s very eager to learn,” Snyder said of Lockett, who owns sub-4.4 time in the 40-yard-dash. “He’s very fast, has the ability to redirect his direction, and he’s just a try-hard kid who want to excel. No one works harder or gives a greater effort.”
Of the two return positions, Snyder said, “With kickoff returns, you have time to get set, catch the ball and decide on a direction. With the punt return, you need a quicker vision and need the ability to make that first guy miss you.”
SPECIAL TEAM NOTES:
MEET COACH SNYDER:
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