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Kentucky Position Breakdown: Special Teams

Breaking down Kentucky’s key special teams players.

NCAA Football: Music Bowl-Kentucky vs Northwestern Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

When people think about football, they often think about offense and defense, then usually don’t think about the other third of the game, special teams.

Kentucky has been very popular for having very good special teams players, going back to Tim Masthay. With Austin MacGinnis graduating, what are the Cats going to do for a kicker? The Cats have struggled punting up until last year, but now with Matt Panton graduating as the starting punter, who will hold down the punting position?

Chance Poore (Freshman K/P): Poore was the No.1 ranked kicker/punter combo in the nation by Ray Guy’s as well as rated as a five-star kicker and punter by

Camp Director Rick Sang said, “He is already capable of launching NFL caliber kickoffs and Punts!”.

Poore is a very good kicker, and yes, he will have big shoes to fill in Austin MacGinnis. Poore is a 3-star prospect according to ESPN and the No. 32 prospect in South Carolina.

Max Duffy (Freshman P): The No 1 ranked punter by and prokick Australia alum is ready to take over the punting position.

Prokick Australia founder, Nathan Chapman said, “He’s a great athlete with a range of kicking attributes, including the spiral and roll out kicks.” Chapman also said, “He has a strong leg and will be very accurate with his kicks inside the 20.”

Duffy is a product of the now world-renowned Prokick Australia. He actually grew up watching playing Australian Rules Football. Duffy was drafted in the 39th round of the Australian Rules Football Draft to Fremantle.

Tristan Yeomans (Junior Long Snapper Punts and Blake Best (Senior Long Snapper Field Goals): Blake Best will handle all short snaps for field goals, while Tristan Yeomans will handle all long snaps for punts as well as he will be the holder for field goals.

There is several position battles at kicker and punter, between Chance Poore and Miles Butler at Kicker, as well as Duffy and Butler battling for the punting position. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if coach Stoops and special teams coach Dean Hood made Butler, either the starting punter or kicker based on experience.

If I were a betting man, I would put my money on Duffy at punter and Poore at Kicker. If Butler is a starter, He will be the starting kicker. Duffy can bomb the ball on punts.

No matter who becomes the starter, I don’t believe special teams should be a worry for Kentucky fans this season.