Miami Hurricanes 2016 camp preview: Special teams

The Hurricanes are back on Greentree on Thursday. Let’s go position-by-position and tell you what we know, what we don’t know, and what we want to learn this month. 

Well, last year was certainly interesting regarding Miami’s special teams…

2016 Canes Camp Previews:  QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB | ST

Ten important storylines for Hurricanes camp

For review: spring grades Offense | Defense 

Miami's Dallas Crawford (25) returns a kickoff, which featured multiple laterals before Corn Elder subsequently received the final lateral, and scored to beat Duke 30-27 in an NCAA college football game, in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015. (AP)

Miami’s Dallas Crawford (25) returns a kickoff, which featured multiple laterals before Corn Elder subsequently received the final lateral, and scored to beat Duke 30-27 in an NCAA college football game, in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015. (AP)

Projected depth chart

P
16 – Justin Vogel, Sr., 6-4, 215
43 – Jack Spicer, R-Fr., 6-3, 225

K
15 – Michael Badgley, Jr., 5-10, 180
85 – Marco Baeza, Soph., 6-3, 210

PR
8 – Braxton Berrios, Jr., 5-9, 185
83 – Sam Bruce, Fr., 5-8, 180

KR
1 – Mark Walton, Soph., 5-10, 205
82 – Ahmmon Richards, Fr., 6-1, 192

Numbers to know

Badgley hit from as long as 57 yards and went 7-for-7 on kicks of 40 to 49 yards.

Vogel averaged 42.5 yards per punt, with a long of 73 (the longest of any ACC punter). Thirteen of his 67 punts went for 50-plus and none were blocked.

Corn Elder was the only ACC player to score touchdowns on punt and kick returns. He also had two punt return touchdowns called back via penalty.

Penalty issues were a major problem on special teams. UM ranked 128th of 128 FBS teams in penalties per game (9.3) and yards per game (84.2) and set a school record in penalty yards (1,094). UM’s 121 flags were tied for third-most in program history.

Quote of note

Breakdown

Miami didn’t work a lot on special teams in the spring, since the coaches’ attention was focused on installing the offense and defense. However, the Canes are set in the kicking game. Vogel is the team’s only preseason first-team All-ACC selection and was heavily praised by Mark Richt. Special teams coach Todd Hartley also has a national award contender in Badgley.

Elder wasn’t included on our projected depth chart – he’s so valuable as a corner – but he has said he wants to reprise his role from last year. Similarly, UM may want to keep Berrios (and Stacy Coley) healthy for their duties at receiver. Walton and several freshmen could get reps at returner. Will be interesting to see who gets burn.

New arrival Diego Marquez will get a chance to supplant Jon Semerene (dismissed) as UM’s kickoff specialist.

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