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The Field Position Problem No One Is Talking About

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Punting hasn't been a problem for Oregon St.; but that could change this season.
Punting hasn't been a problem for Oregon St.; but that could change this season.

There is borderline unbounded excitement among many members of Beaver Nation about the impending Gary Andersen era at Oregon St., and enough respect for what Andersen has done, and some of the players left from the Mike Riley era, that even those not looking at the least experienced team in the Pac-12 this fall through orange colored glasses aren't calling the situation a disaster, even if most of them reasonably are picking the Beavers to finish last in the Pac-12 North, or maybe 5th at best.

But there's been cricket level discussion of one of the biggest question marks about the team this fall; the punter.

For years, its been ok for one of the least sexy to the casual fan subjects been that way, because Keith Kostol, and before him, Johnny Hekkar, took care of things. There was even a year's overlap for transition.

But Kostol has graduated, and we learned absolutely nothing during spring ball about where the position, which can be a critical factor in field position (does ANYONE think 15-20 yards worth of field position won't be a HUGE deal for a defense that replaces all but 2 starters?), is headed.

At the moment, the only punter on the roster is Mitch Seeley, who red-shirted in 2013 as a walk-on, and never saw the field last year. Seeley was an all-state punter in Oregon in 2012, but he was better known as a place-kicker.

The popular hope is Australian Rules football prospect Nick Porebski, who will arrive as a sophomore, from Snow College in Utah. Porebski is in town, but all we know is what we can gather from the Instagram video he produced after arriving on campus.

Porebski was a Riley recruit, who didn't renig when Riley left for Lincoln, even though he was as surprised as everyone else by that development. Probably because of relatively few options.

Notably, Porebski didn't have a jersey number of Snow's published roster, and doesn't show up in their stats sheet.

Perhaps this will work into a Ray Guy Award winning situation, but perhaps it won't.

Oregon St.'s first couple of punts this season could be easily as informative as the first couple of series run by the freshman quarterback of Andersen's choice. Given they could come at Michigan, not Weber St., it won't be just the punter that is nervous when it happens.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com