As technically a redshirt junior in 2014, he punted 62 times for 2,737 yards (44.1 yards/punt). He had a career long of 74 yards, landed 25 punts inside the 20-yard line, and kicked 18 punts more than 50 yards. That punting average was #6 in the Football Championship Subdivision and #1 all-time at Weber State. Standing 6'2" and 215 lbs., he ran a fake punt 20 yards and completed a 17-yard pass on another fake punt against Montana State.
O'Neill brings an array of punting talents to Michigan. He can deaden the ball near the goal line, punt directionally, boom it deep, and generally limit return yardage. The nice thing about punting is that it translates well from one level or team to the next, so regardless of whether he's playing at Weber State or in the Big House, his kicks are going to travel a long way if that's what he wants.
Michigan has had good punters for a while, including Zoltan Mesko and Will Hagerup in recent years. Unfortunately, Hagerup was inconsistent at times and even missed the entire 2013 season due to suspension. However, punt coverage was spotty last year, which should improve with the arrival of O'Neill as well as full-time special teams coach John Baxter.
O'Neill gives Michigan three scholarship specialists, including incoming freshman kicker Andrew David and redshirt sophomore long snapper Scott Sypniewski. However, O'Neill also puts Michigan at 87 scholarships for the upcoming season, which means that two players need to come off scholarship before the fall. There is at least one player who could become a medical casualty (Chris Fox), and there are a few walk-ons who have had scholarships in the past that might have to pay their own way (Graham Glasgow, Ryan Glasgow, Joe Kerridge).
TTB Rating: 86 (ratings explanation)
This guy combined with some coverage could be a helluva weapon. Especially with a defense that's coming after you.ReplyDelete
If you kind of squint a little and turn your head a bit to the left, you can begin to see this thing coming together.
He could be an All B1G punter or at least in the equation. Can't wait to see him perform and hopefully a fake punt or two this season as well.Delete
"... and there are a few walk-ons who have had scholarships in the past that might have to pay their own way (Graham Glasgow, Ryan Glasgow, Joe Kerridge)."ReplyDelete
Ouch. This borders on the kind of thing we as a fan base criticize other schools for.
If you were the one making that decision, and you knew taking away the scholarship would mean the rejected player would simply leave the team, which would you pick?
I'm thinking the two Glasgows are safe ... Ryan seems to do fairly well at NT, and Graham (despite troubles) is our best C option.
My money is one one medical red-shirt and Kerridge paying his own way. Guy is from a fairly well to do family.ReplyDelete
I think that would be pretty harsh toward Kerridge. Not only has he been a multi-year starter, but he has stayed out of trouble. If we're talking about yanking anyone's scholarship, my eyes are squarely on Graham Glasgow. He's the guy who's been suspended twice, got in trouble with the law, etc.Delete
Both of Glasgow's parents are doctors, too.Delete
There seems to be a clear TTB ranking difference between the transfers and recruits so far by Harbaugh compared to the recruits under Hoke....do you feel higher caliber players are being brought in?ReplyDelete
Not necessarily. I think Hoke brought in some high quality recruits. It just so happens that Harbaugh is a better coach (which boosts the ratings a bit) and the transfers have already proven themselves on the college level. We know that Jake Rudock, for example, is a solid if unspectacular Big Ten quarterback, so there's very little risk of him turning into Nick Sheridan.Delete
I like the fact that Harbaugh is still looking for any edge to make this team better right away and not just resting on what he has for this fall. Given the uncertainties we have on offense, we will need every advantage we can get.ReplyDelete