Breaking Down Utah Football’s 2023 Position Groups: Special Teams
Jul 31, 2023, 9:24 AM
SALT LAKE CITY – Fall camp is here for Utah football and to finish refreshing our minds, we are breaking down the last two of the Utes’ 2023 position groups. This morning we are focused on special teams.
In the early years of the Utes’ venture into the Pac-12, special teams played a massive role in many of their victories. As many Utah fans will recall, offensive production was suspect at best in those first few years, but the special teams unit along with the defense covered a lot of those sins.
The past few years we’ve seen a bit of a shift though. Utah’s offense has been clicking on a high-level in Tyler Huntley’s last season with the Utes in 2019, and then has taken another massive step forward under Cam Rising since he took over the starting quarterback role in 2021. As this shift has taken place, the Utes have depended less and less on special teams and it honestly hasn’t quite been what it once was. Could 2023 be different though? Lets take a closer look.
Who Is Playing On Utah’s Special Teams In 2023?
In this piece we will mainly be focusing on the pieces that are specifically listed as special teams players, I.E. punters, snappers, kickers. This group is mostly new in 2023 after a couple of years of subpar performances in the kick game.
While the Utes haven’t had to rely on special teams quite the way they did, there have been moments where it would have been nice to know a field goal was going to be made, or a kick would go out of the end zone. That hasn’t been a sure thing the past two or three years. (Think about how big of a difference a consistent kicker would have made in last year’s Washington State game.)
Head coach Kyle Whittingham and the staff set out to find some new pieces that will hopefully be more reliable in 2023 along with some returning talent as well.
A Closer Look At The Utes’ Special Teams
*Bolded names indicate significant experience.
- Cole Becker, Transfer Kicker, Junior, played in 24 games at Colorado from 2021-22, made 25 field goals tying for seventh all-time for the Buffaloes, had 94 kickoffs at Colorado with 63 touchbacks, 3-of-4 on field goals from 50+ yards, including his career-long of 56 yards.
- Jack Bouwmeester, Transfer Punter, Sophomore, played at Michigan State from 2019-20, but did not see any action, primary punter in all 14 games, averaging 39.2 yards on 39 punts.
- Justice Brusatto, Transfer Snapper, Sophomore, spent 2022 at Idaho State, playing in 11 games primarily at long snapper.
- Chase Carter, Transfer Kicker, Senior, played at Morningside University from 2019-22, appeared in 51 games, went 24-of-35 on field goals and 331-of-344 on PATs.
- Logan Castor, Snapper, Redshirt Freshman, saw no action in 2022.
- Joey Cheek, Kicker, Redshirt Freshman, earned depth spot as No. 2 kicker for the Rose Bowl in 2022 but saw no game action last season.
- Tanner Cragun, Walkon Kicker, Sophomore, saw no game action in 2022.
- JT Greep, Snapper, Junior, primary long snapper in all 14 games in 2022, tallying 124 snaps (40 punt, 14 FG, 70 PAT), appeared in the last nine games of the 2021 season, recording 71 total snaps (16 punt, 10 FG, 45 PAT).
Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports
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