Jan 2, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; A generla view of the Cotton Bowl during a punt in the 2012 Ticket City Bowl with the Houston Cougars playing against the Penn State Nittany Lions. The Cougars beat the Nittany Lions 30-14. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Penn State 2012 Depth Chart: Special Teams.

Much like the WR unit, I expect there to be a big difference in the return game. Often times, the old regime played special teams with a cautious approach. Gone are the days of Drew Astorino going back deep to call a fair catch and the uneventful returns from players unable to remain on their feet when running at full speed…
I expect O’Brien to take an aggressive stance on special teams and use the return game as a chance to put the ball in the hands of his playmakers.

It’s tough to predict WHO that will be…but I’m going to do just that!

Kicker
Anthony Fera (RS Jr.)
Sam Ficken (So.)

Punter
Anthony Fera (RS Jr.)
Alex Butterworth (Jr.)

Kick Returner
Bill Belton (So.)
Alex Kenney (RS So.)

Punt Returner
Curtis Drake (RS Jr.)
Bill Belton (So.)

Others
Devon Smith (Sr.)
Justin Brown (Sr.)
Malik Golden (Fr.)
Eugene Lewis (Fr.)
Shawney Kersey (RS Jr.)

Bill Belton is a playmaker. I expect them to try and get him the ball as much as possible. I also love Drake’s elusiveness. Kenney is one of the fastest players on the team and should stick out in camp.
Justin Brown was never a very natural returner. He’s not a burner and is a little bit too big to make guys miss. There are plenty of guys on the roster who fit that mold. Devon Smith has always had potential but three years of waiting on it is enough for me. Time to give someone else a shot.

Ideally, Fera wouldn’t have to handle the kicking AND punting duties again this season, but he looked pretty darn good at both last year…especially compared to the other options!

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Tags: Anthony Fera Bill Belton Bill O'Brien Curtis Drake PSU

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