NEW YORK—Particular Groups play has been one space that the Columbia Soccer program has achieved constant excellence and with the approaching yr, the Lions are relying on a big group of returnees to assist bolster a unit led by Particular Groups Coordinator Justin Stovall.
Below Stovall from 2015-19, Columbia has established 44 new workforce and particular person particular groups faculty data, led the league 13 instances in numerous particular groups classes together with blocked kicks, kickoff return common, punt return common, internet punting common, kickoff protection, on-side kicks and PAT kicking, and likewise ranked amongst top-20 nationwide leaders in 21 totally different classes. In the meantime, a complete of three placekickers, 4 punters and two return specialists have earned All-Ivy League honors throughout that span and 4 punters/placekickers graduated from Columbia and pursued a fifth-year of NCAA eligibility at numerous Southeastern Convention faculties.
There’s each motive to imagine that Columbia’s success will proceed on particular groups because the Lions return skilled, proficient and expert specialists in any respect key positions: placekicker, punter, lengthy snapper, kickoff returner, punt returner, and kickoff specialist. At the least one Columbia participant earned an honor on every of the six place classes of the Phil Steele Journal preseason particular groups squad.
The return recreation is bolstered by Mike Roussos, who enters his third season as a consensus preseason All-America return specialist. Roussos is trying to turn out to be simply the fourth participant at school historical past to earn three consecutive First Workforce All-Ivy League honors. He’s additionally in place to interrupt quite a lot of punt return, kickoff return, and lengthy data and already holds seven totally different whole faculty data. As a returner, Roussos has racked up 1,328 profession return yards, together with 868 kickoff return yards (24.1 yards per return common), and 460 punt return yards for an impressive 17.7 common. He has three whole profession return touchdowns, together with two off punt returns (91 and 56 yards) and one off a kickoff (87 yards). He’s additionally the one participant at school historical past to attain a landing on a punt return and kickoff return in the identical recreation and has a school-best six 50-yard returns. In all-purpose yards, he contributes 96.7 yards per recreation.
All-Ivy Leaguer Drew Schmid returns for his closing season to deal with all the Lions’ punting duties. With a profession 37.50 common per punt, Schmid is primed for one more nice season to proceed Columbia’s high-quality custom of high punters. His efficiency towards Yale in 2018 stays the most effective punting video games at school historical past as Schmid averaged 44.7 yards over 11 punts and set the school-record for many punts downed contained in the 20-yard line (seven). He additionally seems as Columbia’s holder on placekicks.
Two-time preseason First Workforce All-Ivy and Freshman All-America placekicker Alex Felkins is again for his junior yr after he wowed Columbia followers with an outstanding first-year in 2019. In simply the primary three video games of his rookie season, Felkins kicked two of the top-5 longest area targets at school historical past as he linked on a 50-yarder at SFU and a 51-yarder at Princeton. He went on to have a brilliant season as he transformed 9 of 14 area targets, 22 of 24 level after makes an attempt, and led the Lions in scoring with 49 whole factors. He has additionally proved to be an outstanding kickoff specialist, registering 24 touchbacks in 2019.
None of Schmid’s and Felkins’ achievements may occur with out Parker Lefton, who continues Columbia’s custom of top-rate lengthy and brief lengthy snappers. The junior was named a preseason All-Ivy League choice in every of the final two years.
The Lions additionally return quite a lot of gamers to their kickoff and punt protection items, together with area objective and PAT items. These gamers embrace Will Allen, Fara’ad McCombs, Chris Park, Justin Woodley, Jordan Colbert, Cameron Brown, Ryan Rhoden, Graham Flinn, John Harris, Devin Hart, Railan Peace, Scott Valentas, Bryan Bell-Anderson, TJ McGarry, Cameron Burt, and Ryan Hamilton, amongst others.
Allen, who is also a speedy kickoff returner, has blocked 5 profession kicks, which ranks second at school historical past. He has his sights set on the profession document of seven held by Marc Calveric (1991-93).
Beneath is a position-by-position take a look at the 2021 Columbia Lions’ Specialists:
SPECIAL TEAMS PERSONNEL
Particular Groups Coordinator: Justin Stovall
Mike Roussos, Kickoff Returner/Punt Returner/Return Specialist, Sr.
Consensus preseason Third Workforce All-America choice as a punt returner for the third consecutive season…Unanimous All-America return specialist…Two-time First Workforce All-Ivy League choice (2018 as a first-year and 2019) and trying to turn out to be simply the fourth participant to earn three First Workforce awards…Over his two-year, 18-game profession, accrued 1,741 all-purpose yards (96.7 per recreation), scored eight touchdowns, caught 38 passes for 407 yards and registered 868 kickoff return yards (24.1 common) and 460 punt return yards (17.7 common)…Set or tied profession faculty data for many mixed 50-yard returns (six), most mixed return touchdowns (three), and most kickoff return touchdowns (1)…Led the Ivy League in 4 statistical classes in 2019…Led Lions with six touchdowns, 1,308 all-purpose yards and totaled six or extra video games of 100-plus all-purpose yards in 2019…Second Workforce Freshman All-America in 2018…Consensus First Workforce All-Ivy League as KOR/PR…Grew to become the primary participant at school historical past to return each a punt (91 yards) and kickoff (87 yards) for a landing in the identical recreation in season finale vs. Cornell…His 87-yard kickoff return with 45 seconds was the game-winner.
Drew Schmid, Punter, Sr.
Fifth-year senior…Preseason Third Workforce All-Ivy League punter for the final two seasons…Enters his third season as Columbia’s common punter…Averages 37.5 yards per punt on profession (106-3,977)…Ranks amongst Columbia’s all-time profession punting leaders in most yards per punt (No. 9), most punt yards (No. 14), and most punt makes an attempt (No. 15)…Registered 44 punts on profession positioned inside the20-yard line…Averaged 36.2 yards per punt with 13 contained in the 20-yard line and three 50-yard punts as a junior in 2019…2018 Second Workforce All-Ivy League choice as punter, the Lions fourth consecutive punter to earn all-league honors…Led Ivy League in most punts positioned contained in the 20-yard line (21) and ranked second in punting common (38.8 yards per punt)…Additionally registered 17 honest catches and 4 50-yard punts with an extended of 65 yards as a sophomore in 2018.
Alex Felkins, Placekicker, Jr.
Preseason First Workforce All-Ivy League placekicker for the final two seasons…Earned Third Workforce Freshman All-America honors by Phil Steele Journal in 2019…Earned honorable point out All-Ivy League and Second Workforce All-Ivy by Phil Steele Journal as a first-year placekicker…Earned an Ivy League Rookie of the Week and Particular Groups Participant of the Week honor in 2019…After solely three video games at Columbia, grew to become the primary kicker at school historical past to transform two 50-yard area targets and simply the fifth participant in Ivy League historical past (since 1956) to transform two 50-yard area targets in a profession…Led Lions in scoring with 49 factors, transformed 9-14 area targets and 22-24 level after makes an attempt in 2019…Additionally registered 24 touchbacks in 41 kickoffs.
Parker Lefton, Lengthy Snapper, Jr.
Preseason All-Ivy Second Workforce choice prior to every of the final two seasons…Third Workforce All-Ivy League choice as an extended snapper in 2019 by Phil Steele Journal…Noticed motion in 91 performs snapped all of Columbia’s punts (53), area objective makes an attempt (14), and level after makes an attempt (24) in 2019.
Andrew Donovan, Punter, Jr.
Will Allen, Kickoff Returner, Sr.
Has not tried a kickoff return for the reason that 2018 season however nonetheless owns school-record with a 25.2 yards per kickoff return common on 831 profession kickoff return yards (33 makes an attempt)…91-yard kickoff return vs. Princeton (Sept. 28, 2018) ranks because the eighth longest at school historical past…Honorable Point out All-Ivy League choose as kickoff returner in 2017…Additionally has recorded 5 profession blocked kicks, which ranks No. 2 at school historical past.
Newcomers: William Hughes, PK/P, So.; Matthew Werd, PK/P, Fr.;
Specialists Misplaced from 2020 Roster: None.
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