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Top Returning Big 12 Specialists in 2024

Top Returning Big 12 Specialists

Editor’s note: This is another in our ongoing series on “The Best Returning” of the Big XII. 

Who Are The Best Special Teams Players?

Hello everyone and welcome back to our ongoing series looking at the best returning players in football. Today our focus is on the Big 12. Of course, the league is no exception to expansion madness. Longtime members Oklahoma and Texas left for the SEC where “it just means more.” Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah left the Pac-12 to join. Of course, we can’t forget about Colorado who’s rejoining the league 13 years after leaving for the Pac-12 in 2011. As a result, the Big 12 now has 16 teams. We begin our look at the top returning Big 12 Specialists In 2024 with the kickers. Before reading on, here are a couple of ground rules. We’re only focusing on players who are at the same school as in 2023. That means you won’t see any transfers, whether it be players or schools.

Coming Through in the Clutch

3. Colton Boomer– Central Florida– We begin our list with one of the best names for a kicker. As a sophomore Boomer connected on 48 of 50 extra points and 13 of 21 field goals. His 48 extra points ranked him fourth in the Big 12. He had his best game against Boise State where he went 4-4 in field goals including a 50 and 55-yarder and a game-winner from 40.

2. Michael Hayes– West Virginia- During the 2023 season Hayes made all 17 of 21 field goals and all 46 of his extra point attempts. Those numbers put him fifth and sixth respectively in the Big 12. In addition, his 81 percent success rate of field goals put him just behind Bert Auburn of Texas. He had one of his best games with three field goals in the Mountaineers’ Mayo Bowl win over North Carolina. Hayes was named Honorable Mention by the league’s coaches.

1. Chris Tennant– Kansas State- Another honorable mention selection by the Big 12 coaches Tennant made 11 of 14 field goals and 56 of 57 extra points. That number tied him for second in the league. Furthermore, Tennant’s 89 total points ranked him ninth among all players. He nailed two field goals in four different games last season and had a career-high eight extra points against Baylor. The senior to be also handled kick-off duties recording 35 touchbacks on 84 kicks. Tennant tops our list of kickers.

Continuing on with our Top Returning Big 12 Specialists For 2024 let’s move on to the punters.

Big Game Boomers

3. Oliver Straw– West Virginia- Between Hayes and Straw coach Neal Brown has arguably the best combo in the Big 12. The Melbourne, Australia native finished fifth in the league with a 43.1-yard average and seventh in total yards. As a result, he was named Honorable Mention All-Big 12. Straw placed 19 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, and eight punts of 50 yards or more.

2. Mason Fletcher– Cincinnati- Another Australia native, Fletcher earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors despite battling injuries last year. Fletcher finished sixth in the league with a 43.0-yard average and sixth in total yards. One of only two punters not to record a touchback in the conference, he also downed 23 inside the 20 and seven inside the 10-yard line. A healthy Fletcher finished as a finalist for the Ray Guy Award in 2022.

1. Tyler Perkins– Iowa State- As a sophomore Perkins placed fourth in the league with a 44.3-yard average and second in punting yards. His 44 yards per punt was the third-best in Cyclone history. Overall he punted 61 times with 18 kicks over 50 yards and 25 downed inside the 20. Despite the impressive stats Perkins only made Honorable Mention All Big 12. With many of the top punters now in the NFL, Perkins heads our list.

Let’s finish up our Top Returning Big 12 Specialists In 2024 with the return guys. These can be either kick or punt returners.

Game Breakers

3. Josh Cameron– Baylor- During his sophomore campaign Cameron ranked second in the Big 12 with 202 punt return yards and a 15.5 average. He had a long of 70 yards versus Kansas State which was the third longest in the league.

2. Major Everhart– TCU– As a redshirt freshman in 2023 Everhart finished second in the Big 12 with 649 return yards and fourth with a 22.3 average per return. His career-long 86-yard kickoff return set up a go-ahead score in the fourth quarter against Colorado.

1. Richard Reese– Baylor- While the Bears struggled in 2023 with a 3-9 record they do have two of our top three return specialists. Even though Reese only had 12 kickoff returns, he made them count. He ended the year with a 32.8 yards average per return. That’s more than five yards better than the next-best player. In addition, he took two back for touchdowns tied for league lead. As a result, he heads our list of return specialists.

Thanks for checking out our Top Returning Big 12 Specialists For 2024 here at Last Word On College Football.


Top Returning Big 12 Specialists
Photo courtesy: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports


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