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Sun Belt Special Teams Rankings

By Southern Pigskin Staff
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Southern Pigskin's five best special teams units in the Sun Belt for 2018.

1. Louisiana-Monroe: What Marcus Green did last season was nothing short of remarkable, averaging 32.4 yards per kickoff return and tying for the national lead with four kick returns for touchdown. One of college football's elite return men, he is a leading All-American candidate. Veteran kicker Craig Ford did a nice job in 2017, converting on 10-of-13 field goal attempts. Returning punter Harrison Helm averaged nearly 42 yards per boot.

2. South Alabama: There is a great one-two tandem at kicker and punter, respectively, the best duo in the Sun Belt. Gavin Patterson paced the conference by drilling 16-of-19 field goal tries last fall, while punter Corliss Waitman led the league with an average of 45.2 yards. Both are contenders for national postseason honors. The hope is that the Jaguars can develop playmakers in the return game.

3. Arkansas State: The Red Wolves led the nation in punt return coverage last year as they allowed just eight return yards the entire season. Expect more of the same as punter Cody Grace returns and Blake Anderson has made coverage a priority; Arkansas State has paced the Sun Belt in allowed return average four of the past five years. Kicker Sawyer Williams tied for the league lead in field goals made in 2017 with 16.

4. Georgia Southern: Kicker Tyler Bass was really good as a sophomore, converting 15-of-19 field goal attempts. He made at least one kick in each of the Eagles' last eleven games. Wesley Kennedy is poised to bring some excitement to the return game. In terms of coverage, Georgia Southern allowed the fewest kick return yards in college football last season.

5. Troy: After a freshman season where he average over 30 yards per kick return and scored three times, including two touchdowns at Coastal Carolina, Marcus Jones is already one the best return specialists in the game. Another freshman from a year ago, punter Tyler Sumpter seemed to stabilize the kicking situation. As a team, the Trojans blocked a combined three kicks and punts.