Editor’s be aware: That is the ninth and last a part of a sequence projecting Michigan State’s depth chart by place heading into fall camp.
Matt Coghlin cut up the uprights as time expired and sprinted towards the south finish of Spartan Stadium.
After crossing midfield, the Michigan State placekicker dove head-first and slid throughout the moist grass earlier than being mobbed by his teammates.
Coghlin’s 34-yard subject objective lifted Michigan State to a 27-24 win in opposition to then-No. 7 Penn State on Nov. Four final 12 months in a recreation that featured a lighting delay longer than three hours. It was the signature second of the season for the Spartans’ specials groups, which returns most of its key personnel this season.
Coghlin offers Michigan State a confirmed kicker whereas Jake Hartbarger is getting into his fourth season because the beginning punter. The Spartans must discover a new kickoff specialist after the commencement of Brett Scanlon and it seems the punt return and kickoff return positions will seemingly stay in flux via fall camp.
Michigan State was unspectacular within the return recreation final season whereas mixing up its personnel. The Spartans ranked No. 62 within the nation in kickoff returns with a mean of 21.39 yards per try and had been No. 118 in punt returns at 3.90. Throughout spring observe, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio stated the staff must get extra out of its punt return recreation transferring ahead, however he stated the identical factor earlier than final season and the Spartans truly regressed in that class.
Matt Coghlin, Ok
5-foot-9, 192 kilos
Coghlin received the beginning placekicker job in fall camp final 12 months and turned in a stable season as a redshirt freshman. He completed 15-for-19 on subject objectives with an extended of 46 yards and made all 38 of his further level makes an attempt. After lacking two off the correct upright in a triple-overtime loss at Northwestern on Oct. 28, Coghlin made his last eight makes an attempt of the season and was named an honorable point out All-Large Ten choice by the media.
Jake Hartbarger, P
6-4, 200 kilos
Hartbarger averaged 42.Zero yards per punt on 69 makes an attempt with 12 of no less than 50 yards and 28 downed contained in the 20-yard line final season. These numbers aren’t eye-popping however Hartbarger was a big particular groups weapon for the Spartans and was an honorable point out All-Large Ten choice by the media. He was key in limiting return makes an attempt as Michigan State completed No. Three within the nation in punt return protection at 2.58 yards per return. Hartbager’s seemingly backup is redshirt freshman Jack McKenna.
Cole Hahn, KO
5-10, 200 kilos
With Scanlon gone, the kickoff specialist job is up for grabs with Coghlin, Hahn and redshirt freshman walk-on Tyler Hunt all within the competitors. Hahn was going to be a most well-liked walk-on at Iowa earlier than accepting a scholarship supply to hitch Michigan State’s 2017 signing class whereas being recruited primarily as a kickoff specialist. I am going to give him the nod at successful the beginning job, however we’ll see how fall camp progresses. Hahn would even be the seemingly backup to Coghlin at placekicker.
Cody White, PR
6-3, 214 kilos
White, who’s coming off a breakoff true freshman season at large receiver, was one among 4 gamers who returned punts for the Spartans final 12 months and completed because the starter in that function. He averaged simply 3.1 yards per return on seven makes an attempt and had a team-high 21-yard return. White wasn’t a standout performer within the function however was trusted to carry onto the ball, which is clearly the highest precedence. I’d pencil him in because the starter at this level, however there are different choices.
Connor Heyward, KR
6-0, 228 kilos
Heyward, a working again, completed the season because the beginning kickoff returner and averaged 21.eight yards on a team-high 20 makes an attempt, together with a 55-yarder. He is not the quickest choice on the roster however has positive fingers and does not draw back from contact. Similar to on the punt returner place, Heyward is the most effective guess for now however that might change.
OTHERS ON THE ROSTER
Brian Lewerke (redshirt junior), Collin Caflisch (redshirt junior), Brandon Sowards (fifth-year senior), Darrell Stewart Jr. (redshirt junior), Laress Nelson (sophomore), Andre Welch (sophomore), Jalen Nailor (freshman)
Lewerke, who is understood barely extra for his function at quarterback, returns because the beginning holder. Caflisch, a former walk-on, returns because the beginning lengthy snapper, together with backup Ryan Armour. The remainder of the gamers listed within the others on the roster class are amongst those that might issue within the return recreation.
Nelson averaged 4.9 yards per punt return on seven makes an attempt final 12 months. Stewart started final season because the beginning punt and kickoff returner earlier than specializing in offense. Nailor is a 2018 signee and state champion sprinter from Las Vegas who has the pace to compete for particular groups play as properly. Sowards was the Spartans’ beginning punt returner in 2016 earlier than lacking all of final season resulting from an ACL tear and is anticipated to be able to go initially of fall camp. Welch returned three kickoffs final season as a real freshman walk-on.
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