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Breaking Down the Specialists
Football  . 

Breaking Down the Specialists

Aug. 31, 2017

Special teams coordinator Coleman Hutzler will be challenged to replace two consistent performers in placekicker Elliott Fry, the school’s all-time leader in points scored, and punter Sean Kelly, a two-year starter. Nearly as important for Hutzler is finding a replacement for deep snapper Drew Williams, who earned fourth-team All-America honors last season.

Alexander Woznick came out of the spring penciled in as the number one placekicker, but has had to fight off stiff competition from fellow redshirt freshman Parker White. Woznick spent his true freshman season watching and learning from Fry, while White joined the squad in January. As the 2017 season nears, the competition remains fierce, with both more than capable of handling the duties. The final decision may not be made until September 2 when the Gamecocks take on NC State in Charlotte. With his consistently deep kicks, White has earned the nod as the kickoff specialist this season.

The punting competition was nearly as heated as the placekicking battle. Sophomore Joseph Charlton has edged out sophomore Michael Almond for the starting role against NC State, although Almond is more than capable. Charlton has gained the consistency that the coaches were looking for to go along with his strong leg that earned him a scholarship coming out of A.C. Flora High School in Columbia. Almond was the Gamecocks’ punter in the 2016 Birmingham Bowl after an injury sidelined Kelly.

Junior Ben Asbury has been tabbed the starting long snapper, beating out Matthew Smith and Harrison Freeman for that important duty.

Backup quarterback Danny Gordon figures to be the holder on placements.

Brandon Chiazza and Austin Snow joined the team as walk-on kickers when the roster expanded in late August.

Specialists (9):

Ben Asbury Jr.

Michael Almond So.

Joseph Charlton So.

Harrison Freeman R-Fr.

Alexander Woznick R-Fr.

Parker White R-Fr.

Brandon Chiazza Fr.

Matthew Smith Fr.

Austin Snow Fr.