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FAU Football Spring Preview: Special Teams

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FAU Football Spring Preview: Special Teams

P Sean Kelly (39.87 avg.) - Sophomore
K Mitch Anderson (7-of-14, 53 yard long) - RS Senior
PR/KR Travis Jones (7.95 avg.) - RS Senior
KR DíJoun Smith (21.40 avg.) - Junior
P/K Joey Silvani - Sophomore
P/K Dalton Schomp - Sophomore
LS Trevor Citek - RS Freshman


On the Way:
P/K Greg Joseph

-Stats from last season.

Overview: Florida Atlantic returns both punter Sean Kelly and kicker Mitch Anderson who finished above par last season. Kelly burst onto the scene last year after walking-on as a freshman and led the Sun Belt Conference in punts of 50 yards or longer. Head coach Carl Pelini claimed that Kelly, who played quarterback in high school, was one of his greatest finds as a coach and awarded him with a scholarship at the end of the season. Anderson (pictured above) played the role of hero and villain for FAU fans last fall but finished the season on a higher note. The redshirt senior had three field goals blocked in a crushing loss at South Alabama before finishing the year 6-of-9 with a long of 53 yards. Anderson assumed the place kicking job halfway through the season after Vinny Zaccario left the team, and faired well enough to earn some praise from the coaching staff. Running back Travis Jones should continue be the primary punt returner after averaging 7.95 yards per return last season while cornerback DíJoun Smith will assist with the kickoff return duties. Long snapper Tim Raber graduated† in the offseason leaving a vacancy at the position.

Player on the Spot: - Sean Kelly - Itís easy to perform when there isnít much expected of you, but this year the Owls will lean heavily on the leg of Kelly. The sophomore excels at pinning opponents inside their 20-yard line, and needs to build upon his breakout freshman campaign.

Remember the Name: - Trevor Citek - The Owls have just one designated ďlong snapperĒ in spring camp, meaning Citek will handle a majority of the duties. A strong offseason could have him penciled in as the starting long snapper next fall.

Key Stat: - 0 - In the history of the program, FAU has failed to ever return a punt or kickoff for a touchdown. Could this year finally be the year?

Forecast: Itís often said that special teams is one third of the game, and if thatís the case, FAU should be in good shape. Both Kelly and Anderson give the team reliable options in the kicking department, while Jones is an elusive returner. Former head coach Howard Schnellenberger often neglected special teams during spring practices, but that appears not to be the case with Pelini.

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
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