Fall Camp Preview - Special Teams

Fall Camp Preview - Special Teams

Not much changed personnel-wise for the special teams this spring and summer as almost everyone returns from a year ago. A new coach took over, Dave Ungerer, but the transition went extremely smooth with all of the veteran players on the roster.

Depth chart beginning of April:

K: Alexis Serna, Justin Kahut

KR: Gerard Lawson, Coye Francies

P: Kyle Loomis, Jon Strowbridge, Jake Webber

PR: Sammie Stroughter, Taylor Kavanaugh

H: Jon Strowbridge, Ryan Gunderson

SN: Joel Cohen

 

Depth chart start of August:

K: Alexis Serna, Justin Kahut

KR: Gerard Lawson, Anthony Brown

P: Kyle Loomis, Jon Strowbridge, Jake Webber

PR: Sammie Stroughter, Taylor Kavanaugh

H: Ryan Gunderson or Taylor Kavanaugh

SN: Joel Cohen

 

Injuries:
  • Coye Francies - missed several practices with a hamstring injury

 

Overview:

Not much changed personnel-wise for the special teams this spring and summer as everyone returns from a year ago. A new coach took over, Dave Ungerer, but the transition went extremely smooth with all of the veteran players on the roster.

All-American candidate Alexis Serna is back for his final year as he will take a run at the Oregon State record books.

Backing up Serna is Justin Kahut whom the coaches are excited about - excellent leg strength, but still working on his accuracy.

Punter Kyle Loomis returns for his second year after a typical freshman punter season. He struggled early on, but by the end of the year was right in the middle of the punting categories. Holder Jon Strowbridge was ruled academically ineligible during the summer as he failed to earn enough credits towards a degree.

As a result Ryan Gunderson or Taylor Kavanaugh will take over holding duties in 2007.

Snapping once again is senior Joel Cohen who was rewarded a sixth year of eligibility.  He missed the majority of 2005 after tearing his MCL and ACL in his left knee.  Cohen struggled a little last year on his field goal snaps, Serna had two blocked, sailing many off of the turf although Strowbridge did a great job bailing him out.

Coye Francies missed a good portion of the spring training with a hamstring injury. To make things worse after spring training, Francies was kicked off the team after being arrested with a loaded gun in June.  Anthony Brown took Francies spot along with Gerard Lawson. Both have been consistently showing promise during scrimmages and practices. They each do a nice job of running north-south maximizing the yardage they get.

Sammie Stroughter and Taylor Kavanaugh also return for punt returns.  Stroughter is one of the most dangerous returners in the nation while the little used Kavanaugh is fearless.

 

Weaknesses: Strengths:
  • Depth at punter
  • Backup experience at kicker
  • Indefinite suspension of Francies
  • An accurate All-American kicker
  • One of the most exciting punt returners in the nation
  • A reliable holder

 

Statistics:

 

Top spring performer:

Sammie Stroughter. Nothing is as exciting as watching the punt returns Sammie Stroughter had during the scrimmage games. Don't be surprised to see a handful of the punts returned for touchdowns by Stroughter.

 

ST spring summary in three sentences or less:

A veteran unit adjusted to a new coach. The absence of Francies will be somewhat negated by Brown taking up his place backed up by Patrick Henderson and James Dockery. Kick/punt blocking looks to be a much improved bunch from the previous year.

 

Notable quotes:

Overall - "Special teams is exciting to me. The only guy we lose on the big four – punt, punt return, kick, kickoff return - is Sabby. We have a lot of returning special teams players so we feel that we can make an impact there."

On Serna - "There is not much more to say than Alexis is a tremendous weapon and someone we have full confidence in. He has proven that he is reliable in big games, in bad weather and in hostile stadiums. We take him for granted sometimes."

On a new coach – "There will be some growing pains – the learning of terminology, coaching style, but because our experience we will overcome that quickly."

 

Who's coming in the fall:

No one.  LS Marcus Perry is grayshirting.

 

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