Texas Tech is down by 2 on the 20-yard line with 1 second remaining on the clock. Texas A&M Aggies coach, Mike Sumlin, calls his final timeout hoping to ice the Red Raider kicker. After the TV broadcast shows both teams’ coaches and the crowd’s faces for the duration of the timeout, the teams line up. The long snapper hikes the ball to the kick holder, who plants the ball on the ground, just as the kicker begins going through his kicking motion. The kick is up AND… IT’S… GOOD!!! RED RAIDERS WIN THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!!! Kliff Kingsbury is hoisted up on the shoulders of his players and being carried to the trophy stage to collect the first national championship trophy in Texas Tech football history, and then my iPhone alarm blares the Indiana Jones theme waking me up for another day on planet Earth. Ok, so granted my dream scenario is a far-fetched matchup for the College Football Playoff Championship Game, but wouldn’t it be awesome if Tech could kick a game winning field goal in the final second of the game to vanquish the Aggies and win their first national title? Just in case that scenario comes into play, I want to make sure you are up to date with our 2015 special teams squad. This is your 2015 special teams preview!
With Ryan Bustin no longer kicking the field goals for Texas Tech, the position of kicker is wide open. Senior Taylor Symmank has been one of the best punters in the country, being named a nominee for the Ray Guy Award for best punter last year. However, he has also been doing a pretty good job handling kickoffs. Could the Tech coaches continue down that route or give the duties of full-time kicker to Symmank, in addition to his punting role? There are two other kickers vying for the position freshmen Clayton Hatfield and Michael Barden.
No special teams depth chart could be found as of press time.
The kickers Clayton Hatfield and Michael Barden will be competing for the place kicking duties for the 2015 season. Tanner Osmer will look to learn from returning long snapper David Brenner.
Outside of the kicking position, there is a lot of experience on special teams. Long snapper, David Brenner, returns for his final year at Tech, Taylor Symmank is back looking the bring the Ray Guy Award to Texas Tech, and one would expect Jakeem Grant and Justin Stockton, among others, to continue to bring excitement to the return game. However, it’s not all chocolates and roses for the Red Raiders’ special teams. There were quite a few times last season that the Red Raiders allowed big returns and because of that opposing offenses had pretty decent field position. If special teams coach Darrin Chiaverini can get that locked down, special teams could be one of the brightest spots for the Red Raiders this year!
As always, I love to hear what my fellow Red Raiders think. Either comment below, or tweet me @ConnerCrisp. I, once again, need to give a shout-out to Chancellor Photography for use of the above image. If you are interested in viewing the images from the spring game in Midland, visit their Facebook page. Thanks for reading, and GUNS UP!
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