A look at special teams

Gendreau coming off strong season

August 4, 2010 · Athletic Communications

Key Losses:
P David DeFatta and DS Adam Wade.

Key Returner: PK Alan Gendreau is a Lou Groza Award candidate and a first team all-conference selection. He is also the second-most-accurate kicker in school history.

Battle to Watch: The Blue Raiders have one of the best in the nation at PK in Alan Gendreau but punters are unproven. The coaches feel good about Nathaniel Toulson for the spot, but he will be pushed in the fall by a group of newcomers. Zeke Anderson will get plenty of competition from newcomers, as well.

Spring Standout: Alan Gendreau made huge strides from the 2009 season, and his added strength showed in the spring. During one spring scrimmage, Gendreau hit all 10 of his field goals, including three from 51 yards and one from 61 yards.

Coach Ellis on the special teams
"Special teams is a huge part of the game, and it has to be our winning edge every time out. Last year, we made big plays on special teams, and we have to be sound in all areas again in 2010. We have a good weapon in Alan Gendreau as our placekicker, but we have inexperience at deep snapper and punter so the offseason will be critical for those two spots."

ALAN GENDREAU (Junior) - A very talented player who works extremely hard ... Coming off a great season ... Has improved strength ... Embraces the role of handling both the placekicking and kickoff duties ... He never relaxes and always wants to get better ... Is very consistent.

NATHANIEL TOULSON (r-Junior) - Has not had a chance to showcase his skills but possesses all the ability ... Turned in a great offseason in the strength and conditioning area ... Has improved directional kicking and accuracy ... Showcased a strong and powerful leg in the spring ... Coaches are excited about him in 2010.

ZEKE ANDERSON (r-Sophomore) - Inexperienced, but the coaches have trust in him to get the job done ... He gets the ball back quickly but needs to be more consistent and accurate ... Had a good spring and will be a big part of special teams this fall.

DWIGHT SMITH (Senior) - Worked on snaps in the spring prior to his injury ... Will provide solid depth.

(r-Junior) - Has not done this in a college game but enjoyed a solid spring ... Does a good job of catching the ball and putting it down quickly ... Very smart player ... Will handle all the calls.

GARRETT ANDREWS (Senior) - A sure-handed receiver who also excels at holding for PATs and field goals.

Punt Returner
(Junior) - Possesses soft hands and tracks the ball well and has the ability to go the distance ... Has tremendous balance and is fearless.

Kickoff Returner
(r-Senior) - Has a 21.6-yard-per-return average for career and one touchdown.

MALCOLM BEYAH (Junior) - Has an 18.5-yard-per-return average for his career.

54 *Zeke Anderson r-So. DS
80 Garrett Andrews Sr. H
4 Malcolm Beyah Jr. KR
38 Alan Gendreau Jr. PK
47 Dwight Smith Sr. DS
21 Phillip Tanner r-Sr. KR
30 *Nathaniel Toulson r-Jr. P/H

5 Arness Ikner Jr. PR *Non-scholarship

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