As of this writing, only a limited number of teams have opted out of the spring. With each passing day, it gets more likely this unprecedented season is going to happen. So it’s time to start looking at the top returning players.
This series will look at the top returning player at each position in every conference.
*Not included in these rankings:
Conferences that have opted out as of the publish date
Players on teams that have opted out as of the publish date
Players who are in the transfer portal as of the publish date
A HERO Sports Spring Preseason All-American, Arnson led the Big Sky and was third in the FCS in 2019 with a punt average of 45.8 yards. Nineteen of his punts were inside the 20-yard line.
Jack Pawloski, Gardner-Webb
Pawloski averaged 41.9 yards per punt in 2019. Twelve of his punts were over 50 yards, and 16 were downed inside the 20-yard line.
Nathan Fondacaro, Villanova
Fondacaro was a 2019 All-CAA First Team selection. He had an average of 44.5 yards per punt, booted eight punts of 50 yards or longer, and had 13 punts downed inside the 20-yard line.
Brady Schutt, South Dakota
A 2019 First Team All-MVFC pick, Schutt was fourth in the FCS with his 45.1 yards per punt. Nineteen of his punts went over 50 yards, and he pinned eight punts inside the 10-yard line.
Eric Silvester, Wagner
Silvester was named to the 2019 All-NEC First Team. He averaged 39.9 yards per punt and had 27 punts downed inside the 20-yard line.
Kaleb Mosley, Tennessee State
Mosley led the OVC in 2019 with a 42.2 yards per punt average. Eight of his punts went over 50 yards, and 12 were placed inside the 20-yard line.
Every Patriot League team playing this spring is starting a new punter.
Andrew Foster, Morehead State
Foster was an All-Conference honorable mention selection in 2018 and was named to the Second Team in 2019. Along with serving as the team’s primary kicker, he punted 53 times with an average of 41.7 yards.
Matthew Campbell, The Citadel
Campbell is a two-time All-SoCon First Team selection and a 2019 HERO Sports Third Team All-American. He has averaged over 44 yards a punt in 2018 and 2019.
Matt McRobert, Sam Houston
With an average of 44.3 yards per punt, highlighted by 20 punts of 50 or more yards with only three touchbacks, McRobert earned multiple All-American honors in 2019, along with being named to the All-Southland First Team.
Caleb Darbone, Prairie View A&M
Darbone was named on the Spring 2021 Preseason All-SWAC Team. In 2019, he averaged 37.5 yards per punt with seven punts landing inside the 20-yard line.
Sam’s coverage of the FCS began in 2012 as the sports editor and eventual editor-in-chief of NDSU’s The Spectrum. After graduating in 2015, he spent three years in the newspaper and magazine industry while starting his work for HERO Sports in the fall of 2016 as a freelancer. In May 2018, he joined the website full time as the Senior FCS Analyst.