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2016 Michigan Football Position Preview: Special Teams

A.K.A. The Kenny Allen and Jabrill Peppers Show

Michigan v Utah Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images

My apologies for this being late compared to the other position previews, but there is not much to talk about these days when it comes to Michigan’s special teams units, especially after Andrew David transferred to TCU a week ago. It will be the Kenny Allen and Jabrill Peppers Show barring the unforeseen. This is a good thing.

Kenny Allen (K/P)

#91 | Redshirt Senior | 6-4, 222 pounds | Fenton, Michigan

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

With question marks surrounding Michigan’s kicking situation coming into last season (I predicted Andrew David would be the starting kicker...), Allen proved his reliability by going 18 for 22 in 13 games with a long of 47 yards. He wasn’t tested much from distance - 3 for 6 in the 40-49 yard range with no attempts of 50 or more - but he has the leg for it as 44% of his kickoffs were touchbacks. This season, Allen will be taking over punting duties as well, the position he was originally recruited for. He won’t have the same precision and control that Aussie Blake O’Neill displayed time and again last year, but he has the strength to flip the field when needed. He can also make tackles when needed.

Jabrill Peppers (KR/PR)

#5 | Redshirt Sophomore | 6-1, 205 pounds | East Orange, New Jersey

Peppers needs no introduction. He’s the man that can do it all; however, he has not translated his multitude of talents to much special teams success. Yet. It’s expected that he’ll earn the lion’s share of punt returns as well as getting multiple chances on kickoffs (I expect to see a variety of guys standing back at the goal line throughout 2016, much like last season). Nobody will be surprised when he at long last breaks free for six on special teams this year.

Quinn Nordin (K)

#3 | Freshman | 6-1, 205 pounds | Rockford, Michigan

The top ranked kicker in the class of 2015 is the future, and by all accounts, he has a monster leg. However, he won’t see much, if any, action this year, unless the staff thinks Allen is being overworked with kicking, punting, and kickoff duties. With David gone, he’s the heir apparent at the end of the season.

More Position Previews:


Running Back


Wide Receiver

Tight End

Offensive Line

Defensive End

Defensive Tackle