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Illinois Football Roster Preview: Special Teams

The Illini have a really solid special teams unit.

Illinois v Ohio State Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

I know what this is. You know what this is. Let’s just get to it.

Ethan Tabel - #56, LS, SO, 6’ 0”, 215 lbs

He’ll be the starting long snapper. I kinda don’t know what else to say.

Snap that ball good Ethan!

Ron Gaines III - #62, LS, FR, 6’ 5”, 290 lbs

This freshman is a big boy, and the future snapper for Illinois.

Work on that wrist strength my man!

Blake Hayes - #14, P, SO, 6’ 6”, 230 lbs

Hayes punted for 3,231 yards in his freshman season, which was his first season playing football — ever. He had to punt way too damn much, but at least he was great at it.

Hayes is good at pinning teams down inside the 20, and is as good of a punter you could ask for.

I am very much on team never punt, but at least if Illinois is going to continue to make the wrong decision and keep punting, they’ll have an effective player to do it.

Caleb Griffin - #38, K, FR, 6’ 3”, 200 lbs

Griffin is the future kicker of Illinois. He is taking a blueshirt this season.

He choose the number 38 because his hometown of Danville, Illinois is 38 miles away from Memorial Stadium in Champaign.

Just remember, it’s all in the hips, Caleb. Work them bad boys.

Chase McLaughlin - #43, K, SR, 6’ 1”, 190 lbs

Chase is a solid yet unspectacular kicker who fans won’t see any #CollegeKickers moments out of.

James McCourt - #17, P/K, SO, 6’ 1”, 220 lbs

McCourt is a former top-ten kicker recruit of of St. Thomas Aquinas in Florida, but has yet to see any action in game for the Illini.


Are you team #NeverPunt?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    #PuntToWin (aka I’m an idiot)
    (7 votes)
  • 60%
    Teams should go for it more, but punting is still useful. (aka I’m still wrong)
    (29 votes)
  • 25%
    #NeverPunt (aka welcome to the resistance)
    (12 votes)
48 votes total Vote Now