2013 SDSU Football Season Preview: Special Teams

McMorrow kicks off

Seamus McMorrow, who recorded 33 touchbacks in 2012, will resume kickoff duties, and possibly more, in 2013. (Ernie Anderson/SDSU Media Relations)

Who’s gone

  • K Chance Marden

Projected starters (2012 stats)

  • K/P #17 Seamus McMorrow – So., 5-foot-11, 190 pounds (Punting: 41.7 yard average, 13 punts inside 20 ; Kickoffs: 33 touchbacks)
  • LS #60 Jeff Overbaugh – So., 6-foot-2, 240 pounds (52-52 on PATs, 14-14 on field goals, 48-48 on punts)
  • KR #24 Colin Lockett – RS Sr., 6-foot, 180 pounds (30 kickoff returns, 777 yards, two touchdowns, 25.9 yards per return)
  • PR #41 Tim Vizzi – RS Sr., 5-foot-10, 170 pounds (13 punt returns, 95 yards, 7.3 yards per return)

Key reserves/Players to watch

  • P #77 Joel Alesi – RS Jr., 6-foot, 235 pounds – If punting and kicking duties appear to be too much for McMorrow, expect Alesi to take over as the punter. Alesi saw action in two games in 2012 and punted six times for an average of 43.5 yards per punt, so he is a very reliable option if needed.
  • K #49 Wes Feer – Sr., 5-foot-11, 205 pounds – Similar to the Alesi option, San Diego State could try the combination of McMorrow at punter and Feer at kicker. A junior college transfer, Feer joined the team in the spring of 2012, and he will be determined to compete for the kicking job in his final season.
  • KR #33 Brandon Wright – RS So., 5-foot-11, 205 pounds – In the final three games of the 2012 season, teams were often afraid to kick the ball to Lockett due to his big playmaking ability. Keep an eye on Wright, as he will likely be on the field for kickoff returns as the second return man. Opposing teams may look to kick the ball in his direction to play it safe and avoid Lockett.

2013 Commitments
Currently, San Diego State has no commitments at punter, kicker, or long snapper.

Analysis
For a team replacing its entire kicking and snapping unit, San Diego State exceeded expectations with above average special teams play in 2012. McMorrow and Overbaugh proved to be great finds by the coaching staff, as both came in and played extremely well as true freshmen.

McMorrow was nearly flawless on kickoffs in the second half of the season, recording a touchback almost every time. Look for him to keep the kickoff job in 2013, and possibly be the starting punter and kicker as well. If all three appear to be too much for McMorrow, expect the coaching staff to flirt with the combination of Alesi at punter and McMorrow at kicker or McMorrow at punter and Feer at kicker.

In the return game, playmakers Lockett and Vizzi return in 2013 to lead what should be a key component of the Aztecs’ special teams. Lockett nearly broke the school record for most kickoff return yards in a season in 2012, but was rarely kicked to in the final three games and missed opportunities. He is just 51 yards shy of surpassing the record of former San Diego State receiver Monty Gilbreath (1986-1989) for most career kickoff return yards in school history.

Prediction
McMorrow will have over 40 touchbacks on kickoffs in 2013.


2013 Season Preview: Home
2013 Season Preview: Defensive Line
2013 Season Preview: Linebackers
2013 Season Preview: Cornerbacks
2013 Season Preview: Safeties

Stay tuned tomorrow for a preview on the wide receivers of the 2013 San Diego State Aztecs

by Hunter Hewitt

GO AZTECS


LINKS:
Hunter Hewitt: WordPress – http://hunterhewitt.wordpress.com
Hunter Hewitt: Blogger – http://hunterhewitt.blogspot.com
Hunter Hewitt: LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/hunterhewitt
Hunter Hewitt: Twitter – http://twitter.com/hunterhewitt89
Hunter Hewitt: Facebook – http://facebook.com/hunterhewittSDSU
Hunter Hewitt About.me – http://about.me/hunterhewitt
Hunter Hewitt: BrandYourself – http://hunterhewitt.brandyourself.com/
Hunter Hewitt: GoAztecs.com Player Profile – http://goaztecs.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/hewitt_hunter00.html
Hunter Hewitt: SDSU News Team Story: http://newscenter.sdsu.edu/sdsu_newscenter/news.aspx?s=73846


by Hunter Hewitt

GO AZTECS

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