For the past 10 years, Rutgers has been plagued with very poor special teams, as it pertains to kickers, punters, and holders. Rutgers got one good year out of Nick Marsh, but the rest have been plain awful. There hasn't been a good kicker since Jeremy Ito, and the last two years there have been some serious struggle in the long snapping department. Most importantly, the level of ineptitude as it pertains to kicking the ball off is mind-boggling. There HAS to be some college kid somewhere out there who can run up and kick the ball 65-70 yards every time. There just has to be.
This year, Rutgers will have to rely on guys who haven't played in meaningful games before and may have to wait until fall camp to decide on their kicker and kickoff specialist, as I don't think there is going to be a competition without incoming freshman Jared Smolar. That being said, it seems like David Bonagura has plenty of support and can position himself well this Spring.
Sr David Bonagura
Jr Michael Cintron
RS-Sr Tim Gleeson
RS-Sr Marquisco Jean
So Alex Hutchings
Jr Alan Lucy
Out is longtime starter at kicker Kyle Federico and last years starting punter Joey Roth. Neither of those two were really great at their positions, but it does leave 3 huge question marks when you throw in KOS. All of these spots will be greatly contested for this spring.
Fixing kickoff issues
Of all of the issues that plagues this team in regards to kicking a football, kickoffs were by far the weakest. It did not matter who was kicking off, there was simply no quality to the kickoffs. They were constantly low in the air, short, or off target. People really underestimate the ability to bomb a kickoff every time. That is how the great team Rutgers faced were able to neutralize Janarion Grant.
Will someone win the kicking job
Jared Smolar is coming to campus for fall camp, so David Bonagura and Michael Cintron have a head start. Lots of people have been saying good things about Bonagura and he is in his last year. It would be nice to see him end his career as the starting kicker, but at the same time, he is going to have to earn that position and hold off Smolar if he comes on strong.
For two straight years, Alan Lucy has been playing on a football scholarship at Rutgers. He is a long snapper, which means he is very lucky to even have a scholarship. However, he has not lived up to the expectations that come with being a scholarship long snapper. This is a position where there is no margin for error and he will need to be much improved this year.
K: Jared Smolar
P: Tim Gleeson
KOS: Jared Smolar
LS: Alan Lucy
That wraps up our Spring Practice preview! Thanks for reading!