The 2017 Miami Hurricanes State of the U awards continues to roll on today a we look at Special Teams. In case you missed the first 3 categories (which need YOUR VOTES to decide the winners), here they are
- 2017 Game of the Year
- 2017 Offensive Player of the Year
- 2017 Defensive Player of the Year
And now, the nominees for Special Teams Player of the Year are....
Kicker Michael Badgley
Stats: 17-23 FGs (73.9%), 45-46 XP (97.8%), 32 touchbacks on 75 kickoffs (42.7%)
Badgley is one of the most consistent and best kickers in America. He increased his leg strength over the course of his career, and did a good job handling kickoffs in 2017 as a result. Badgley was clutch in several games, including hitting the game winning FG vs Georgia Tech. His 6 misses were a career-high, though, so his performance, while good, could have been even better.
Punt Returner Braxton Berrios
Stats: 13 returns, 207 yards, 15.9 yards/return average
Berrios did a nice job with punt returns, and had the 5th highest per-return average in the country. Berrios had big returns in several games, including a huge runback against Florida State for the 2nd year in a row.
So then, if he had great returns in the biggest games of the year, and had the 5th highest average return yardage in AMERICA, why does his stat line only have 13 returns when Miami forced 74 punts on the season? Well....Berrios was fond — VERY FOND — of the fair catch. To my eye, there were several big return opportunities that he decided to forego and instead fair caught the ball. Berrios’ ball security was elite, and getting ball back to the offense was great, but there were yards left on the table in the return game lat year.
Kick Returner Jeff Thomas
Stats: 32 returns, 691 yards, 21.6 yards per return
For being one of the fastest and most electric players in America, Thomas’s numbers on kick return were decidedly pedestrian. I don’t know if it was his vision, quickness over speed, blocking, or other, but thins never came together in the kick return game for Miami in 2017. But, he was the #1 KR, so he’s nominated for ST POY.
Honorable Mention: P Zach Feagles, gunner Mark Walton, gunner Travis Homer
Those are the nominees for Special Teams Player of the Year. Who you got?
Who was the 2017 Miami Hurricanes Special Teams Player of the Year?
This poll is closed
K Michael Badgley
PR Braxton Berrios
KR Jeff Thomas