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Nevada football 2022 summer position preview: Special Teams

Highly-regard kicker Brandon Talton leads the Pack special teams group!

Syndication: Reno Gazette Journal JASON BEAN/RGJ / USA TODAY NETWORK


And for our final Nevada football 2022 position preview, we are looking at the special teams!

Nevada lost its head coach to in-conference foe Colorado State as well as a bevy of transfers. Its top three skill threats — Carson Strong, Cole Turner and Romeo Doubs — elected to go to the NFL and the Pack return less than 30 percent of its production from a year, the lowest in the nation, per ESPN.

We have previewed every single position group, including quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, The Union and the defensive line. Today, we preview the linebackes and defensive backs.

Without further ado, let’s look at the special teams, led by two-time All-Mountain West selection Brandon Talton!

Anyone departing?

Paddy Turner

Turner, from Australia, did not make an appearance with Nevada last year. He joined Jay Norvell at Colorado State.

Julian Diaz

Diaz’s was one of the best punters in the Mountain West. The All-Mountain West honorable mention honoree in 2020 planted 22 punts inside the 20 and booted 31 career punts in two seasons as the team’s primary punter.

Anyone returning?

Brandon Talton

Talton is one of the top kickers in the Mountain West. He did not make an All-Conference spot last season, but did in his first two seasons and has made nearly 80 percent of his field goal attempts in his career, including 65.4 percent of his kicks beyond 40 yards. He went 22-for-30 on field goal attempts last year and 9-of-15 from kicks beyond 40 yards.

Matt Freem

Freem has made just two appearances as a punter in his Wolf Pack career, both coming in 2020. He is projected to be the team’s backup punter in 2022.

Austin Ortega

Ortega is the team’s primary long snapper; he’s played in 22 of the team’s 23 possible games since the start of 2020 and 25 over his Wolf Pack career.

Nick Barcelos

Barcelos made 12 appearances last season as a long snapper as well, the only 12 of his career.

Matt Killiam

Killiam just played in one game as the team’s starting punter last season — the season opener against Cal, where he logged six punts for 348 yards. He has yet to make another appearance since joining prior ot 2020.

Any new faces?

Harry Webster

Webster is another Australian punter Nevada nabbed later in the spring. He was formally with Prokick Australia, a training place for Australian athletes go to for American football training at the collegiate and NFL levels.