Friday, April 15, 2011
TCU looking for special teams ace
By Andrea Adelson
TCU has not had to worry about its kickoff and punt return game in recent years, not with Jeremy Kerley returning kicks.
Kerley became on of the most dynamic return men in college football, winning Mountain West Conference Special Teams Player of the Year honors twice -- just the second player to accomplish that feat. He ranked second in the league in punt returns and third in kickoff returns. His speed always made him a threat to return a kick for a touchdown, though many teams kicked away from him last season and his opportunities dwindled.
Still, he leaves a big hole in the TCU special teams game. Kerley had 30 of the team's 36 punt returns last season and 19 of the team's 31 kickoff returns. Coach Gary Patterson still is undecided about who will replace Kerley when the season begins Sept. 3 against Baylor. There are some players on the team with punt and kickoff return experience, but not many. Among the candidates:
Cornerback Greg McCoy. Perhaps the most experienced of those on the team with kickoff returns, McCoy returned one for an 81-yard touchdown in 2009. He had five kickoff returns last season for 167 yards, a 33.4-yard average that could make him the front-runner to take over for Kerley.
Receiver Skye Dawson. He had one punt return and three kickoff returns last season and is one of the fastest players on the team.
Safety Elisha Olabode. He played as a true freshman last season but returned no kicks. He did in high school, though, with three punt returns for touchdowns at Cesar Hill High in Texas.