May 5, 2007

Spring review: Special teams

The final position preview in our spring reviews should serve as a good example of why all these are simply our best guesses. Coming out of last spring, we'd have told you everything was settled at kicker and punter for Missouri. What we didn't count on was Jeff Wolfert. This time around, there are still some serious question marks in the Tiger special teams.

The Starters: Wolfert should handle kicks, not much doubt there. Adam Crossett is currently the starting punter, but there is little guarantee he will remain there (more on that in a bit). As far as kickoffs, they become even more important with the rule change that teams will kick from the 30-yard line. Wolfert and Crossett both got looks, and will likely continue to do so in fall camp. Not sure who gets the nod. In the return game, the Tigers seem to want to use a backup tailback as a kickoff return man. That would mean Earl Goldsmith probably has the early edge. Tommy Saunders did a very nice job returning punts last year and Marcus Woods was strong two years ago. Both of those guys will battle with Tremane Vaughns and Jeremy Maclin, among others, for return duties.

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