Wade Lees (88) boots a 34-yard punt from Maryland's end zone.

Maryland Position Breakdown: Special Teams

Day 1: Quarterbacks Position Breakdown

Day 2: Running backs Position Breakdown

Day 3: Wide receivers Position Breakdown

Day 4: Tight ends Position Breakdown

Day 5: Offensive Line Position Breakdown | Defensive Line Breakdown

Day 6: Linebackers Position Breakdown

Day 7: Secondary Position Breakdown

Returning Players: Matt Oliveira (Sr., LS), Matt Barber (Sr., PK/P), Wade Lees (Jr., P), Mike Shinsky (Jr., K),  Paul Inzerillo (So., PK)

Incoming Freshmen: Joseph Petrino (K), Bentley Faulkner (K/P), James Rosenberry (LS)

Transfers: N/A

Last season, Maryland’s special teams unit struggled with inconsistency and a lack of playmaking in the returns unit. Place kickers Henry Darmstadter and Adam Greene combined to go 8-for-15 on field goals and had two attempts blocked, while the team finished last in the Big Ten in punting average.

Wade Lees enters the season as the incumbent starter at punter and the hope is that he can build on a sophomore campaign in which he launched a season-best seven punts of 50+ yards. In July, Lees was named to the Ray Guy Award Watch List, given to the nation’s top punter, for the second straight year. (Fun fact: Lees will enter the 2018 season at 30 years old, the second-oldest player in the FBS).

The team will have new players handling kickoffs and place kicking duties and this will likely be decided in preseason practice.  Freshman Joseph Petrino may find himself eventually handling both duties. The No. 10 overall kicker in the Class of 2018, according to 247Sports, has a cannon for a leg, and will likely battle with Matt Barber, Mike Shinsky, Paul Inzerillo and Bentley Faulkner to see who kicks for the Terps.

Matt Oliveira returns for his senior season as the Maryland long snapper and his experience will be welcomed. At returner, Ty Johnson will probably keep his kick return duties. He averaged 24.3 yards per return and had a 100-yard kickoff return touchdown at Ohio State. The team will also have to find a replacement for DJ Moore, who handled most of the punt return duties last season.

Daniel Oyefusi

Daniel Oyefusi is a senior in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is majoring in Multiplatform Journalism and minoring in Law and Society. This fall, he covered Maryland football for The Left Bench, a student-run campus publication. This past summer, Daniel worked as an intern at TMZ, specifically assisting in the TMZ Sports department. He has written for other publications, including Terp Magazine and The Diamondback, the university's student-run newspaper. He is also president of the Maryland Association of Black Journalists and Vice President of Media and Web Content for the UMD Sports Business Society.
About Daniel Oyefusi 88 Articles
Daniel Oyefusi is a senior in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is majoring in Multiplatform Journalism and minoring in Law and Society. This fall, he covered Maryland football for The Left Bench, a student-run campus publication. This past summer, Daniel worked as an intern at TMZ, specifically assisting in the TMZ Sports department. He has written for other publications, including Terp Magazine and The Diamondback, the university's student-run newspaper. He is also president of the Maryland Association of Black Journalists and Vice President of Media and Web Content for the UMD Sports Business Society.