Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

SEC’s Top Returning Specialists For 2023

Who Are The Best Of The Best?

Hello friends, our long wait is finally over. At the end of this month the most wonderful time of the year, college football season, is back. To get you ready for 2023 we’re counting down the best returning players in each of the Power 5 conferences. We wrap up our series with who else but the SEC because as you know “it just means more.” We begin our countdown of the SEC’s top returning specialists for 2023 with the kickers.

Clutch Kickers

3- Alex McPherson– Auburn- The redshirt freshman took over the kicking duties when Anders Carlson was struggling to recover from a torn ACL. Over the last three games, he made all nine extra points and six of seven field goals. Oh by the way his older brother is Evan, who stars for the Cincinnati Bengals.

2- Harrison Mevis– Missouri- Last season Mevis made all 33 of his extra point attempts and 22 of 28 field goals. In fact, his 61 field goals rank second in school history. Furthermore, he’s made 10 kicks of more than 50 yards, the most in program history. Mevis earned SEC Special Teams Player Of The Week when he made five goals, including two of more than 50 yards.

1- Will Reichard– Alabama- The days of the Crimson Tide having kicking questions are certainly not an issue with Reichard. Back in Tuscaloosa for one more year as a graduate student Reichard already owns the school record for total points with 426. For his career, he’s made 240 of 242 extra points and 62 of 75 field goals. He was third on our list last year and tops it in 2023.

We move to the punters as we continue our look at the SEC’s top returning specialists for 2023.

Big Game Boomers

3- Jeremy Crawshaw– Florida– The Australia native ranked ninth in the league in total punting yards. However, he led the SEC on average with a whopping 47.9 yards per punt. The junior had 13 punts of 50-plus yards and 12 fair catches.

2- Nik Constantinou– Texas A&M- Another Australia native, Constantinou’s stats dipped a little from 2021 when he led the conference with a 46.6-yard average. He was the SEC’s Special Teams Player Of The Week against Miami. In that game, he landed three punts inside the 10-yard line. Look for a bounce-back year in 2023.

1- Kai Kroeger– South Carolina– A first-team All-SEC selection and first-team by ESPN and The Athletic, Kroeger had one of the best seasons in school history. He had 18 punts of more than 50 yards in 2022. In addition, he landed 20 balls inside the 20-yard line. Kroeger ranks second on the Gamecocks all-time punting list averaging 44.2 yards per kick. Put it all together and he sits at the top of our list.

We wrap up our SEC’s top returning specialists for 2023 with a look at the return men. We’re breaking this one into two categories, top kickoff and also top punt return men.

Ace Return Men

Kickoff Return Specialists

2- Barion Brown– Kentucky- In his first game as a college player Brown took a kick 100 yards to the house in the Cats win over Miami (Ohio). In the process he became the first UK player with a kickoff return for a score since 2009. Overall Brown ranked third in the league with a 27.5-yard average per return.

1- Lideatrick Griffin– Mississippi State- A first-team All-American by the FWWA, Griffin led not only the SEC but all of college football in kickoff returns. His 32.2 yards per return were the second-best in league history behind Evan Berry of Tennessee in 2015. Nicknamed “Tulu” Griffin has gone back to back as he led the league in return average in 2021.

Punt Return Specialists

2- Ainias Smith– Texas A&M– Smith was a first-team All-SEC selection as a punt returner in 2021. That included Special Teams Player Of The Week against South Carolina when he took a punt 95 yards for a touchdown. He was off to a big start in 2022 before suffering a broken right leg. At the time he was responsible for more than a quarter of the Aggies total yards.

1- Kool-Aid McKinstry– Alabama- The player with one of the best names in college football tops our punt return list. In 2022 McKinstry averaged 15.8 yards per punt return, leading the SEC and second in the nation. As a result, he earned second-team honors from the SEC and FWWA. If you are curious, and we know you are, his given name is Ga’Quincy.

Thanks for checking out the SEC’s Top Returning Specialists For 2023 here at Last Word On College Football.

Photo Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports


More Posts

Send Us A Message