2017 Miami Hurricanes spring football preview: New faces on special teams

Zach Feagles is the odds-on favorite to win Miami's punting job. (247Sports)

Zach Feagles (left) is the odds-on favorite to win Miami’s punting job, but Jack Spicer (right) will compete. (247Sports)

Last in a series of position-by-position looks at the Hurricanes heading into spring practice, which begins March 21.

Previously: QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB

The ‘Punter U’ tradition could continue, the Hurricanes have a good kicker, and there’s a lot of good return men here. Let’s take a quick spin through special teams:

Projected depth chart (with fall class year listed)

Punter
Jack Spicer, R-Soph.

Kicker
Michael Badgley, Sr.
Diego Marquez, R-Sr.
Marco Baeza, R-Soph.

Punt returner
Braxton Berrios, Sr.

Major storyline: Not too much of importance here, since special teams aren’t typically a big focus for the Hurricanes in the spring. Badgley has been one of the ACC’s better kickers in his three years as a starter. Recruit Zach Feagles, who arrives this summer, is expected to win the punting job vacated by the NFL-bound Justin Vogel; as noted before, he’s on scholarship for a reason. Spicer, the only punter on the roster this spring, will want to make an impression on the coaching staff. Berrios returns as the lead punt returner (he averaged 12.8 yards per return last year, with a long of 43, and scored a touchdown) and has the type of reliable hands and toughness coach Mark Richt wants. UM loses top kick returner Malcolm Lewis, but a few underclassmen on campus this spring — receivers Dionte Mullins, DeeJay Dallas, corner Malek Young — could get shots at filling that role. Receivers Jeff Thomas and Mike Harley, both post-spring enrollees, have the type of blazing speed that could make for good returners.

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