UAB 2022 position preview: Special Teams – AL.com

UAB punter Kyle Greenwell (98) returns for his fifth and final season with a chance to set a new school record for games played. (UAB Athletics)
A foundational principle of chemistry is at work within the UAB football program.
Neither gaining nor losing any players during the offseason, the Blazers applied the principle of conservation of mass in returning their entire special teams unit intact for the 2022 season.
Departed: N/A
Returning starter(s): Kyle Greenwell, Sr — Matt Quinn, Jr* — Cole Kizziah, Jr*
Other returning players: Wilson Beaverstock, Jr* — Reese Burkhardt, So — Caden Long, Fr* — Xander Echols, Fr*
Spring/Summer arrivals: N/A
2021 position preview: QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL| OLB| LB | CB | S | ST
Outlook: UAB returns all three kickers it used last season and should have no problem creating positive field position and stacking points on stalled drives into enemy territory.
Kyle Greenwell is the elder statesman on special teams, appearing in every game (50) since his true freshman season and averaging 41.8 yards per punt. If he remains healthy and UAB plays in 14 total games, Greenwell can pass former tight end Hayden Pittman (63) to set a new school record for games played (64).
Greenwell has amassed 231 total punts throughout his four-year career and is arguably the most consistent player on UAB’s roster. The results speak for themselves with only 16 touchbacks and a single block while forcing 103 fair catches (44.6 percent), 68 punts downed inside the 20-yard line (29.4 percent) and 39 kicks of more than 50 yards.
Matt Quinn has exceeded expectations following the legendary career of Nick Vogel. The Spanish Fort native has power and accuracy to secure valuable points for UAB, making 22 of 28 field-goal attempts (78.6 percent), a long of 52 yards, and missing only two of his 82 extra-point attempts.
While Quinn is the primary kicker on field goals, Reese Burkhardt was used for kickoffs last season and should resume those duties this year. He had a 54.7 touchback percentage on 75 kickoffs, allowing only 28 opponent returns in the process.
Cole Kizziah handled long snapping duties last season but will see competition from redshirt freshman Xander Echols. Wilson Beaverstock did not see the field last season after appearing in a few games in 2020.
Battle to Watch: Cole Kizziah has a full year of experience at the long snapper position but redshirt freshman Xander Echols could make the competition interesting during fall camp. Echols is a talented asset waiting in the wings after signing as a scholarship player in the 2021 recruiting class.
Keep an Eye on: Caden Long. The brother of former UAB punter Ty Long, (Caden) Long has the pedigree to become the heir apparent to Greenwell but don’t expect a coup for the starting position this season. However, Long could earn a few opportunities late in decided games.
Projected depth chart:
(PK) Matt Quinn, Jr*
Reese Burkhardt, So
Wilson Beaverstock, Jr*
(P) Kyle Greenwell, Sr
Caden Long, Fr*
(LS) Cole Kizziah, Jr*
Xander Echols, Fr*
(PR/KR) Starling Thomas V, Sr OR Jermaine Brown Jr., Jr
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