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Wolves' specialists bring experience

by Mitchell Gladstone | August 28, 2021 at 3:01 a.m.

This Arkansas State University team isn't lacking for turnover, but the specialists should bring some familiarity.

Redshirt senior kicker Blake Grupe has a chance to continue his climb in the Red Wolves' record books. With 263 points and 44 made field goals, the Sedalia, Mo., native ranks fourth and third, respectively, in ASU history.

Although Grupe dealt with an injury in the early portion of fall camp, Jones said earlier this week that the former first-team All-Sun Belt Conference honoree will be good to go for the season opener.

"He actually did exceptionally well [in the scrimmage]," Jones said. "We tried to simulate some pressure situations Saturday, and he handled those very well."

Grupe will again have the holding services of punter Ryan Hanson. The redshirt sophomore had 41 punts a year ago, netting 40.6 yards per attempt and pinning opponents inside the 20-yard line 11 times.

Jack Bullard was the reserve long snapper last season, and he's the likely favorite to replace the graduated Seth Cottengim.

Jones has been mum on who will handle kick and punt return duties -- Roshauud Paul was the main man for both roles in 2020, but wide receiver Jeff Foreman returned some kicks late in the season.

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