Spring Football: Special Teams

Ryan Duvall
Ryan Duvall

Football | 4/24/2017 1:17:00 PM

Who's Gone?
The Racers will lose the kicker Connor Mitchell. The Franklin, Tennessee native was recently honored by the NCAA. Mitchell led the FCS in field goals per game in 2016 at 1.82.

Mitchell was 20-for-27 on the year and kicked his longest field goal of 50-yards against UT Martin. In addition, kicked a school record of six field goals in MSU's upset of No. 15 Eastern Illinois.

Who's Back?
Landon Stratton returns for the 2017 season as a Redshirt Junior. The punter out of Russellville, Kentucky has racked up over 5311 total punting yards in two seasons, netting 2710 in this past season. His per game average of 41.7 yards ranked him 21st nationally and forth in the OVC amongst other punters.

Stratton said, "Overall, I think the spring is going to be productive for us. Between the offseason and now we have put in countless hours of work. I think this spring will show that and it will carry over into the fall."

Special teams coordinator Johnson said, "Landon is a very natural punter. The kid has a lot of confidence about himself back there; it takes a lot to get him rattled. He has a big time leg and does a lot of good things out there for us."

Wes Drewery returns as the long snapper for the Racers. He transferred to MSU in the spring of 2014 and went through the spring practices.

Drewery added, "Long snapping is the foundation to kicking a field goal or taking a pun. You can't do anything without the ball being there, so that's my job to get the ball there as fast as possible and with high amount of accuracy."

James Sappington had 50 kickoffs for 3,008 yards with 13 touchbacks. The Peculiar, Missouri sophomore averaged 60.2 yards per kickoff.

Drewery said, "James has stepped up quite a bit especially late last season. He was pretty much a rock for us on kickoff last year and I think they are really looking for him to take Connor Mitchell's spot this year kicking field goals."

Who's in Charge?
Jake Johnson came to the Racers in the spring of 2016 and is in his second season as the leader of both the special teams and linebackers.
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