The Cyclone hired John Bonamego, a former NFL special teams coach of six years as their special teams analyst for the upcoming 2022-23. The Cyclones have had quite a few problems with their special teams over the last few years but they look to be heading in the right direction. Here is the projected special teams depth chart:
Place Kicker/Kick Off Specialist
Place Kicker 1 or
Place Kicker 2 or
Place Kicker 3
The Place Kicker spot is once again a big question mark for the Cyclones. The Cyclones lost of their best kickers of all time after one season in Andrew Mevis, who is currently with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Kicking options this year for the Cyclones are redshirt freshman Keegan Shackford, junior Drake Nettles and true freshman Jace Gilbert. All 3 of these guys have not attemped a kick yet for the Cyclones. These same three guys are also expected to compete for the Kick Off Specialist position for the Cyclones. Punter Cameron Shook could also be in the kickoff mix for the Cyclones.
Cameron Shook is coming into the 2022-23 season with plenty of experience for the Cyclones. The senior averaged nearly 37 yards on six punts for the Cyclones, while seeing action in three games. Division III transfer Ben Garbarini is also in the mix at punter for the Cyclones. At Christopher Newport, Garbarini averaged over 42 yards on 54 punts.
Long Snapper-Connor Guess
Punt Returner- Jaylin Noel
photo via Jaylin Noel twitter
Noel came on for the Cyclones to field punts after fielding punts plagued the Cyclones, causing all sorts of trouble. Noel was consistent and even provided a few electrifying returns for the Cyclones. One of the sparkplugs for the team, Noel will look to make a difference in the special teams game.
Iowa State has been looking for some good kick returners after the departure of the elite Kene Nwangwu who now returns kicks for the Minnesota Vikings. Last season it looked like they found their two guys in Noel and Sanders, and all indications seems like they will stick to that duo.