The special teams unit is the unit in football that is often overlooked. It usually doesn’t play as big of a role as the offense or defense.
It’s often under-appreciated as well. When it’s bad, everyone notices, but when it’s good, fans sometimes take it for granted. I hope Michigan Wolverines fans didn’t take this year’s special teams unit for granted because it was, well, special.
AJ Henning was the main man back deep for the Wolverines this past season, and he had a solid return game. He didn’t make any critical mistakes and was a shifty runner. Henning created some really good returns and even took one 61 yards to house against UConn.
When it comes to kick returns, all you can really ask is for someone to secure the football and set up the offense. A muffed kick to give the ball back, usually in your own territory, is incredibly deflating after just getting a stop or giving up a score. It’s easier said than done, too. It’s not easy catching a football that was kicked from 50+ yards away with a bunch of 250-pound men sprinting at you. Kudos to Henning on a good year.
How can you not love Brad Robbins? Amazing punter, an amazing stache, and he’s doing it all while raising money for his “Pin Cancer Deep” campaign.
Robbins averaged around 42 yards per punt, had 9 punts over 50 yards, and 16 inside the 20. With these punts, Robbins raised $1,250 this season for “Pin Cancer Deep” and over $14,000 over the last two seasons. Well done, Brad.
Last, but certainly not least, field goal kicking. Jake Moody is not an average college kicker. Moody was 29/35 (83%) on the season with a long of 59 yards that would’ve been easily good from 65.
For most college teams, field goals are stressful. You never know what’s going to happen, even on what are supposed to be chip shots. That wasn’t the case with Moody. All Michigan fans seemed to know that if Moody was inside 45 yards, the kick was going in. Even on the deep ones, the confidence everyone had in Moody was incredibly high.
Having a kicker like Moody is a luxury that doesn’t come around often in college football. Moody will be missed by all Michigan fans, and he will go on to have a great NFL career.