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  • Writer's pictureNoah Beausoleil

UFL Special Teams Power Rankings - A Week 2 Review

Game-winning field goals, pinpoint long snaps, and blocked punts—what more could you possibly desire? Welcome to Week 2 of the UFL Special Teams Power Rankings;

 

Kickers

Kickers in the UFL continue to impress as we move into Week 2, maintaining an impressive 89% success rate on field goal attempts, converting 16 out of 18 kicks. The longest kick of the week flew 62 yards; the only misses came from 46 and 53 yards. For the second consecutive week, kickers had 4 successful attempts beyond the 50-yard mark and a crucial game-winning kick. Here are the UFL Week 2 Kicker Power Rankings;

Working top-down;

  1. Jake Bates (MICH) kicked off the week with an interview during warmups, a potential distraction that didn't hinder his performance when it mattered. His first kick, an impressive 62-yard field goal, would set the tone for the night. Later, he effortlessly converted a 52-yard field goal. This is the first time in Spring Football that a Kickers first 3 field goal completions were from 50+ yards. Bates is defying all expectations and his stellar display earns him the top spot in the rankings.

  2. JJ Molson (HOU) also showcased his skills, going a perfect 2/2 in field goal attempts. His first kick, from 51 yards, demonstrated his range, followed by a second 43-yard conversion. With a flawless record of 4/4 for the season, including two kicks beyond 50 yards, JJ solidifies his position among the UFL's top Kickers.

  3. Matt McCrane (DC) continues his solid performance to open the season, converting his sole field goal attempt from 43 yards. Despite notching a successful kick, he may see a slight dip in the rankings as other kickers match his productivity.

  4. Matt Coghlin (MEM) has climbed several positions this week after a stellar performance hitting all 4 of his field goal attempts. It's worth clarifying that in Week 1, Coghlin's performance was inaccurately reported by FOX, listing him as 2 for 4 when he was actually 2 for 3, with one kick nullified due to a penalty. With His longest field goal of the week at 35 yards away,  Coghlin now leads the UFL in successful field goals.

  5. Andre Szmyt's (STL) had a rough start with a missed 53-yard attempt that went wide left. It didn't help that the St. Louis coaching staff iced him. However, he redeemed himself in the fourth quarter, nailing a crucial 47-yarder right down the middle to tie the game and sealed the victory with a 23-yard, game-winning field goal in the closing seconds. The Battlehawks won their game 27-24 and Szmyt maintains his fifth position in the Power Rankings.

  6. Taylor Russolino (ARL) went 1/2 on field goal attempts in Week 2, successfully converting a 52-yarder. Later in the game, Russolino was brought out for a 46-yard field goal. Unfortunately for Taylor, the snap took the holder by surprise and he was still spinning the laces out when Russolino made contact with the ball. This resulted in the ball sailing wide right.

  7. Chris Blewitt (BHAM) made all 4 of his field goals, including a season-long of 38-yards. While his completion percentage stands at an impressive 84%, further success with intermediate kicks will be necessary to climb higher in the rankings.

  8. Donald De La Haye (SAN) did not attempt any field goals in Week 2. An injury sustained during a kickoff will likely sideline him for the remainder of the season. This will be elaborated on in the Kickoff Specialist segment of the article.

 

Punters

  In Week 2, there was a notable increase in punting, with a total of 37 punts recorded, marking a significant uptick from the 23 seen in the previous week. Punters averaged 43.2 yards and 34.6 net yards per punt. Among these punts, 13 (35%) were expertly placed inside the 20-yard line, with an impressive 7 staying within the 10-yard line. Additionally, 7 punts (19%) resulted in fair catches, while 3 sailed into the endzone for touchbacks. Here are the UFL Week 2 Punter Power Rankings;

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  1. Sterling Hofrichter (STL) only punted 1 time this week. His booming 50+ yard punt landed at the 4-yard line and took a favourable bounce to the 9-yard line before being downed by his Coverage Team. Hofrichter currently leads the league in net average and punts inside the 10-yard line, with a flawless record of no touchbacks or punts out of bounds.

  2. Brad Wing (SAN) punted 6 times and averaged 40 yards and 33 net yards per punt. Despite his coverage team missing a few tackles, Wing displayed exceptional directional kicking abilities, with 2 punts (33%) remaining inside the 20-yard line. Wing showed off a big leg and an ability to perform under pressure on this 45-yard punt that resulted in a fair catch being called. His highlight of the night of the night came on this 43-yard punt that landed at the 1-yard line and stayed in play long enough to be downed at the 5-yard line.

  3. Colby Wadman (BHAM) was a standout performer, climbing 4 spots in the Power Rankings. With 4 punts averaging 44 yards and 38 net yards per punt, Wadman's precision was evident, with an impressive 75% of his punts remaining inside the 20-yard line. His highlight of the game was this directional 42-yarder that was fair caught at the 9-yard line.

  4. Matt White (MEM) punted 4 times with an average of 43 yards and 38 net yards per punt. He kept 2 of his punts (50%) inside the 20-yard line, including this 48-yard punt, that remained inside the 10-yard line.

  5. Marquette King (ARL) rounded out the top 5 Punters this week, punting 3 times for an average of 46 yards and 32 net yards per punt. Despite facing the threat of Darrius Shepherd, King delivered impressive kicks, notably this 39-yard punt that resulted in Shepherd calling for a fair catch at his 9-yard line. However, He did record his first touchback of the year on this 46-yard punt.

  6. Brock Miller (MICH) punted 5 times for an average of 46 yards and 36 net yards per punt. He faced heavy pressure throughout the game, underlined by this 52-yard punt that should have been blocked. Despite the challenges, Miller showcased his strength with 2 punts (40%) travelling over 50 yards, including this 53-yarder that was caught at the 13-yard line.

  7. Paxton Brooks (DC) experienced some fluctuations in performance, punting 7 times for an average of 45 yards and 38 net yards per punt. While showcasing some impressive punts, like this 51-yard punt out of his own endzone, and this 46-yard punt where he had to pick the ball up off the ground, Paxton also recorded his second touchback of the season, leading the league in this category.

  8. Hunter Niswander (HOU) faced challenges once again, averaging 40 gross yards with a disappointing net of 28 yards per punt. Despite displaying a strong leg with 2 of his punts (30%) travelling over 50 yards and 2 landing inside the 20-yard line, Niswander struggled with slow operation time and poor protection, resulting in yet another punt blocked.

 

Kickoff Specialists

  In Week 2, the action saw a familiar tally of 35 kickoffs, mirroring the count from Week 1. However, a closer look reveals nuanced shifts in performance metrics among Kickoff Specialists. While there was a slight decrease in average kickoff distance, with specialists averaging approximately 1 yard less at 67 yards per attempt, they still performed well enough. 11 kickoffs soared beyond the 70-yard mark, constituting roughly 30% of all attempts, while 5 kickoffs remained inside the 30-yard line. Nevertheless, these numbers represent a 10% decline compared to the previous week. Here are the UFL Week 2 Kickoff Specialist Power Rankings;

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  1. Chris Blewitt (BHAM) kicked off 6 times this week, averaging about 70 yards per attempt. Impressively, he launched 4 of his kickoffs (67%) beyond the 70-yard threshold and kept 2 inside the 30-yard line, solidifying his standing as the best kickoff specialist thus far.

  2. Donald De La Haye (SAN) experienced a notable dip in performance, with 3 kickoffs averaging roughly 58 yards per attempt, a notable contrast from his Week 1 average of 74 yards. None of his kickoffs travelled more than 70 yards, with each being returned past the 30-yard line. De La Haye did record his first tackle on this kickoff, however, it was later revealed that poor tackling form caused multiple vertebrae fractures. Placed on injured reserve by the Brahmas his aspirations for a late-season return have all but disappeared, but a successful recovery could see him return in 2025.

  3. Matt Coghlin (MEM) jumps into the top 3 with another impressive showing, averaging 68 yards per attempt over 5 kickoffs. Coghlin was able to boot 1 kickoff further than 70 yards and had another kickoff remain inside the 30-yard line.

  4. Paxton Brooks (DC) assumed kickoff duties for the Defenders, averaging 66 yards per attempt over 5 kickoffs in his first game with full reps. Only 1 of his kickoffs travelled for more than 70 yards and all were returned past the 30-yard line.

  5. Jake Bates (MICH) kicked off 3 times, averaging 68 yards per attempt. While he still hasn't had any kickoffs remain inside the 30-yard line, it isn't due to leg strength. Bates will add another 2 kickoffs (67%) over 70 yards to his totals.

  6. Andre Szmyt (STL) had a much better second week, kicking off 5 times for an average of 69 yards per attempt. He successfully kept 2 kickoffs (40%) inside the 30-yard line and kicked 2 others beyond 70 yards, displaying significant progress.

  7. JJ Molson (HOU) struggled once again, averaging just 67 yards per attempt over 4 kickoffs. While he managed to send 1 kickoff beyond 70 yards, he struggled to keep kickoffs inside the 30-yard line for the second consecutive week.

  8. Taylor Russolino (ARL) rounds out the rankings, averaging 64 yards per attempt over 4 kickoffs. None of his kickoffs went further than 70 yards, and he has only been able to manage 1 kickoff inside the 30-yard line through the first 2 weeks of play.

 

Long Snappers

  This week's highlight reels spotlighted 18 field goal snaps, with an impressive 16 (89%) being recorded as Strikes. In addition, 6 punt snaps were featured, with 4 (67%) earning the highly coveted Strike designation. Overall, Long Snappers demonstrated precision on 20 out of their 24 snaps, resulting in an impressive Strike percentage of 83%.  However, there were a few instances of snaps veering off course, with 3 falling too low and 1 that was too high. We also saw a Long Snapper record an assisted tackle! Here are the UFL Week 2 Long Snapper Power Rankings;

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  1. Ryan Langan (BHAM) was perfect on all 4 of his field goal snaps this week, showcasing his consistency and reliability.

  2. Logan Klusman (HOU) had 2 field goal snaps and 1 punt snap all listed as Strikes this week. While Klusman's performance would typically secure him the top spot, Houston's second blocked punt this week, while not his fault, hints at a potential issue with operation time, thus keeping him in the second position.

  3. Trae Barry (DC) was perfect on his lone field goal snap but did have some issues snapping for punter Paxton Brooks. While 1 of his 2 punt snaps hit the mark, the other veered so low it was called a fumble,  marking Barry's first setback and leading to a drop in the rankings.

  4. Jordan Ober (MICH) was perfect on both of his highlighted field goal snaps this week. He was also the only Long Snapper to record an assisted tackle this week!

  5. Alex Matheson (STL) displayed precision with all 3 of his field goals recorded as Strikes.

  6. Rex Sunahara (SAN) had only 1 punt snap highlight this week, which was perfect. Despite this, other long snappers have surpassed his production, causing him to fall in the Power Rankings.

  7. Turner Bernard (MEM) faced challenges this week, with just 2 of his 4 field goal snaps being listed as Strikes. Both of his errant snaps were too low, but fortunately, the holder managed to save the attempts. Despite the rough start, he seemed to figure things out as the game progressed, offering hope for a strong comeback in his next outing.

  8. Antonio Ortiz (ARL) was perfect on his 2 field goal snaps this week, however, one of his punt snaps required Marquette King to leap into the air to wrangle it, highlighting a flaw in an otherwise decent performance.

 

Kickoff Returners

  From a statistical standpoint, Week 2 saw Kickoff Returners stepping up their game, averaging an impressive 24.5 yards per kickoff return across 35 attempts. Notably, 8 returns (23%) exceeded the 30-yard mark, with the longest spanning 45 yards. However, amidst the great returns, there were also 2 fumbles recorded. Here are the UFL Week 2 Kickoff Returner Power Rankings;

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  1. Trey Williams (MEM) returned 2 kickoffs and averaged an impressive 31 yards per return. His longest return of 35 yards set the Showboats up with favourable field position to kick off the game.

  2. Juwan Manigo (ARL) had another great performance, returning 5 kickoffs for an average of 28 yards per return. With 2 returns (40%) surpassing the 30-yard mark, including a dynamic 45-yard return. Manigo solidified his reputation as one of the league's most electrifying returners, despite having this incredible return nullified due to a penalty.

  3. Darrius Shepherd (STL) returned 3 kickoffs, totalling 83 yards, and averaging roughly 28 yards per return. He had 2 kickoff returns (67%) exceeding 30 yards and his longest of the night was this 31-yard return that set the Renegades up on the 42-yard line.

  4. Deon Cain (BHAM), though not featured in kickoff returns this week, maintains his status as the Stallions' most reliable returner, earning his place in the Power Rankings.

  5. Marcus Simms (MICH) amassed over 100 yards on 4 kickoff returns, averaging 26 yards per return. While 1 return (25%) exceeded 30 yards, Simms certainly paid the price, enduring a punishing hit at the end of his 35-yard return.

  6. Gary Jennings (BHAM) returned 3 kickoffs, averaging roughly 27 yards per return, with a long of 31 yards.

  7. Pooka Williams Jr. (DC) did not participate in kickoff returns for the Defenders, with Chris Rowland and Dariua Hagans struggling to impress in his absence. Rowland returned 3 kickoffs for an average of 23 yards per attempt, while Dariua Hagans returned 1 kickoff for 21 yards but fumbled the ball.

  8. Brycen Alleyne (SAN) had a great week compared to Week 1, returning 3 kickoffs for an average of 28 yards per return with a long of 42 yards. With more consistency, Alleyne could contend for a top spot in the Power Rankings. Marquez Stevenson also returned 1 kickoff for the Brahmas; a 29-yard return that set the offense up on the 41-yard line.

  9. Isiah Hennie (HOU) did not return any kickoffs this week but still holds a better stat line than his replacement.

  10. Anthony Ratliff-Williams (HOU) took over kickoff return duties this week, fielding 5 returns for a total of 105 yards, averaging just 21 yards per attempt. Ratliff-Williams most impressive return had his team starting on their own 40-yard line, showcasing his potential as a returner in the UFL.

 

Punt Returners

  In Week 2 there were 22 punt returns, with Punt Returners averaging roughly 11 yards per return. Among these, 6 returns (27%) extended beyond 15 yards, with the longest covering an impressive 25 yards. Here are the UFL Week 2 Punt Returner Power Rankings;

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  1. Amari Rodgers (BHAM) returned 4 punts averaging roughly 14 yards per return. Notably, 2 of his returns (50%) passed the 15-yard mark, with Rodgers's most impressive return being this 17-yarder.

  2. Darrius Shepherd (STL) only returned 1 punt this week, but it was a big one, covering 17 yards.

  3. Jarey Elder (MEM) returned 3 punts, totalling 43 yards, and averaging 14 yards per return. He had 2 of his returns (67%) travel further than 15 yards, demonstrating extreme athleticism using jukes and spin moves to beat the Brahmas Coverage Team.

  4. Pooka Williams Jr. (DC) did not participate in punt returns this week.

  5. Keke Coutee (DC) stepped in for the Defenders, recording 3 returns for a total of 35 yards, averaging 12 yards per return. His most notable return was this 14-yarder that could've gone for more with proper blocking.

  6. Justin Hall (HOU) had the longest punt return of Week 2, a stellar 25-yard effort positioning the Roughnecks for a potential comeback. Overall, he recorded 5 returns for 47 yards, averaging 9.4 yards per return, though he couldn't replicate his success with additional returns longer than 15 yards.

  7. Marquez Stevenson (SAN) had a rough game, returning 3 punts for just 18 yards, averaging 6 yards per return. Despite a rough game, his longest return was this 13-yard return where he put in a ton of work just to be wrapped up at his 22-yard line. However, there were missed opportunities, notably fielding this punt at the 1-yard line when a touchback could have been secured.

  8. Devin Gray (MICH) returned 2 punts, totalling 16 yards, and averaging 8 yards per return, with his longest covering 11 yards.

  9. Trey Quinn (MICH) only returned 1 punt for 6 yards.

  10. The Arlington Renegades still have not recorded a punt return.

 

Coverage Teams

  During Week 2 matchups, Coverage Teams displayed varying degrees of effectiveness, allowing an average of 10.7 yards per punt return and 24.4 yards per kickoff return. There was a notable decrease in penalties compared to Week 1, with only 7 infractions called, totalling 35 yards. Additionally, one unit managed to block a punt. Here are the UFL Week 2 Coverage Team Power Rankings;

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  1. The DC Defenders built on an excellent Week 1, allowing an average of 9.4 yards across 5 punts and an average of 21 yards on 5 kickoffs. Their talents were on full display on this punt return, where they only allowed 1 yard. Despite being penalized twice, totalling just 5 yards, their overall performance remains impressive. They also blocked a punt against Houston, who has struggled in punt protection.

  2. The Memphis Showboats allowed an average of 14 yards on 3 punt returns but excelled during kickoff returns, where they allowed an average of just 20 yards on 3 kickoffs. Their standout moment came with a decisive stop, wrapping up a punt returner at the 3-yard line. Perhaps most importantly, they were able to avoid penalties during their Week 2 game.

  3. The St. Louis Battlehawks allowed an average of 27.6 yards on 5 kickoffs, which impacted their standing in the Power Rankings. However, their discipline shone through as they avoided penalties entirely during Week 2.

  4. The San Antonio Brahmas had a mixed performance, allowing an average of 9 yards on 3 punt returns and an average of 28 yards on 5 kickoffs. While they demonstrated their talent on certain plays, like downing this punt at the 5-yard line, they also struggled at times, missing plenty of tackles on punt returns.

  5. The Michigan Panthers struggled, allowing an average of 13.5 yards on 4 punt returns and an average of 27 yards on 3 kickoffs. While they may struggle to contain returners, they remain the only team in the UFL who have not been penalized on special teams, which counts for something in these Power Rankigns and will keep them in the fifth position.

  6. The Arlington Renegades allowed 17 yards on their lone punt return and an average of 24 yards over 4 kickoffs. Through 2 weeks, the Arlington Coverage Team has allowed the most yards on punt returns in the UFL. They also received 1 penalty for 10 yards.

  7. The Birmingham Stallions excelled in Week 2, allowing an average of just 7.3 yards on 3 punt returns and an average of 23.7 yards on 6 kickoff returns. They started strong, keeping this kickoff return inside the 30-yard line, and continued dominating on punt returns, keeping multiple returns inside the 20-yard line.  However, their status as the second most penalized team in the UFL, adding 2 more penalties totalling 10 yards this week, will keep them in the seventh position.

  8. The Houston Roughnecks encountered early struggles on punt returns, allowing an average of 11.7 yards per punt. They would adjust and figure things out in the second half and even had a couple of nice wrap-ups. They allowed an average of 22.5 yards on 4 kickoffs and were even able to force a fumble on this return. They received 1 penalty for 5 yards, a significant improvement from the previous week's 7 penalties. While the potential is there, their penalties currently keep them in the last position in our Power Rankings.

 

Individual ST Stats

  Here's who is making an impact on Special Teams;


Here are your most penalized Special Teams Players;

 

Holders

  In Week 2, we observed 2 errant snaps, both from the Memphis Showboats' Long Snapper. Fortunately for him, Matt White managed to save both situations, wrangling in the low snaps and ensuring their kicker was able to make the field goals. Here are the UFL Week 2 Holder Power Rankings;

 

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