The Longhorns specialists had their struggles last season, along with the rest of the team, but the outlook for 2011 is looking better. Special teams are an important part of any football team, even in college football, and the Longhorns are going to ensure that their special teams perform much better during the 2011 season.
The following is a look back at the players that the Longhorns had on special teams in 2010 to include kickers, punters, longsnappers and return specialists. We will take a look at their stats for the 2010 season as well as where they stand heading into 2011.
Russ was a freshman in 2010 and saw a little bit of action in the Longhorn’s game against Iowa State. Russ will be the backup for Tucker and depending on whether or not the coaching staff wants Tucker to concentrate on punting, Russ could see more action as their kicker in 2011.
Tucker will be a senior next season and was both punted and kicked this season. In the 12 games of action kicking, Tucker attempted 27 field goals making 23 with a long of 51. He had 65 kickoffs for an average of 61.7 yards per kickoff while having 15 touchbacks with two go out of bounds.
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When it came to punting, Tucker has 35 punts for 1442 yards, averaging 41.2 yards per punt. His longest punt was 70 yards with no blocked kicks three touchbacks, four fair catches and five punts of 50 yards or more.
You can expect Tucker to continue to play a big role next season on special teams for the Longhorns as it looks like he could get some looks from NFL scouts next season.
Summerville has graduated and won’t be back in 2011. Last year, he didn’t see much action playing in just one game kicking one extra point. With a minimal contribution, he won’t be missed.
Gold, a senior punter last season, won’t be around when the Longhorns go at it again in 2011. Statistically, Gold played in nine games for Texas in 2010 and had 24 punts for 1047 total yards and an average of 43.6 yards per punt. His longest punt was 63 yards and he had two punts touchback and 13 were fair caught. Gold also had six punts of 50 yards or more and three that were downed inside the 20.
Davis returned a couple of kickoffs for the Longhorns last season for 46 yards averaging 23 yards per return. Davis could see some additional action returning kickoffs in 2010 if he can show the coaching staff that he is fully capable of handling it this spring.
Brown was an important piece of the Longhorns punt return puzzle last year and may be missed (due to graduation) in that area this year. He returned a total of 13 punts for 194 yards with a long of 40 yards.
White had a hand in returning kicks last season as he returned a total of two kicks for 48 yards with a long of 32 yards. White is going to be a sophomore this coming season so expect him to take a more active role in the return game in 2011.
Williams was active as a punt return specialist last season and returned 11 punts for 86 yards with a long of 25 yards. Williams will be gone this season so the Longhorns will look for someone to replace him on special teams.
Goodwin will be a junior next season, and it’s possible that the Longhorns may set him back to return kickoffs after he had some success in 2010. All together, Goodwin returned four kickoffs for 62 yards with a long of 26. Texas will want some guys with experience returning kicks so Goodwin might see his fair share of returns next season.
Williams will be a senior in 2011 and should get a shot to return some kicks and punts in 2011. Last season, Williams returned five punts for 77 yards with a long of 23 yards. He will factor into returns next season.
Phillips, a freshman in 2010 saw just a little bit of action on returns and had just one return for nine yards. He may not see a lot more action returning kicks next season, but if he proves himself effective he just might see more time there in 2011.
Byndom will be back with the Longhorns as a sophomore next season and may see some action returning punts and/or kicks next season. During the 2010 season, he returned one punt for 13 yards.
Monroe was very active in the return game for the Longhorns last season and will be back on returns again next season. In 2010, Monroe returned 21 kickoffs for 430 yards with a long of 32 yards. He was effective at times and with some work and concentration he could help make their special teams much more special next season.
Special teams are always an important part of any team and the Longhorns are going to pay special attention to those units for next season. Granted, special teams weren’t terrible in 2010, but they will be much more important for the next season and could help them seal up some more victories next year and get them back to respectability.