Michigan Football Preview 2015

2015 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 122 of 163

THE WOLVERINE 2015 FOOTBALL PREVIEW ■ 121 SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER BIOS POSITION COACH John Baxter, in his first season with the Wolverines, is entering his 33rd year as a football coach. He is Michigan's new special teams coach and comes to U-M as one of the nation's more heralded at the position over the last few decades, most recently at USC (2010-13). The Trojans excelled in a number of special teams categories, and several of his players collected national accolades in his four years, just as his Fresno State players did during his 13-year stint with the Bulldogs. In 2011, Baxter was named FootballScoop.com Spe- cial Teams Coordinator of the Year after overseeing a group that produced seven blocked kicks. The Trojans also notched a kickoff return for touchdown, made a two-point conversion and converted a fake punt for a first down. That season, kicker Andre Heidari earned first-team All-America accolades and All-Pac-12 first-team honors, and his 88.2 percent field goal percentage was third in the nation among kickers with at least 10 made field goals. Baxter, 51, began his coaching career at his alma mater, Loras College, where he served for five seasons (1981-85) as a student assistant. He then moved on to Iowa State for two seasons (1986-87) as a graduate assistant working with the defensive line and special teams before the first of two stints at Arizona. He was with the Wildcats in 1988, went to Maine in 1989 and returned to Arizona in 1990 and 1991 as the tight ends and special teams coach. He coached at Maryland for two seasons (1992-93), handling the running backs and special teams, and Tulane for three years (1994- 96) in charge of the tight ends and special teams before going to Fresno State. RETURNING PLAYERS KENNY ALLEN • P/K R-Jr. • Fenton, Mich. Ht.: 6-3 • Wt.: 220 Career Highlights: Earned his first varsity letter, holding in 11 games, in 2014 … Has one career punt for 51 yards (2013). Prep: Attended Fenton High School ... Two-year varsity letterman in football ... First-team all- district punter in his senior year. Personal: Kenneth Arthur Allen was born July 8, 1994 ... Enrolled in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, majoring in General Studies. KYLE SEYCHEL • K R-Fr. • Brighton, Mich. Ht.: 6-2 • Wt.: 171 Career Highlights: Redshirted in 2014. Prep: Played at Hartland (Mich.) High ... Two-year varsity letterman in foot- ball ... Member of the National Honors Society. Personal: Born Kyle Lawrence Seychel on January 5, 1996 … Enrolled in the College of Engineering. SCOTT SYPNIEWSKI • LS R-So. • Ottawa, Ill. Ht.: 6-1 • Wt.: 224 Career Highlights: Played in 12 gamed in 2014 … Redshirted in 2013. Prep: Three-year starting long snap- per at Marquette High School … Two- year starter at offensive guard and outside linebacker … Ranked as the No. 3 long snapper in the 2013 class by RubioLongSnapping.com … Rated as a two-star prospect by Rivals.com … Listed as the No. 7 long snapper in the nation by ESPN.com. Personal: Born Scott David Sypniewski on Jan. 26, 1995 … Enrolled in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, majoring in English. NEWCOMERS ANDREW DAVID • PK Fr. • Massillon, Ohio Ht.: 5-8 • Wt.: 170 Prep: Attended Washington High School ... Served as kicker, kickoff specialist and punter … Kicked a school-record 58- yard field goal, and also hit 49- and 48-yard field goals during his senior season ... Also averaged nearly 40 yards per punt ... Rivals.com two-star prospect ... Three-star recruit, No. 10 kicker prospect and No. 45 player in Ohio according to ESPN.com … Was an all-state shortstop on the Washington baseball team. Personal: Andrew David was born May 9, 1996. BLAKE O'NEILL • P 5th-Sr. • Melbourne, Australia Ht.: 6-2 • Wt.: 215 Career Highlights: Joined the Weber State program in the summer of 2014 out of Melbourne, Australia ... Played in all 12 games for the Wildcats and finished the season sixth in the nation in punting, averaging 44.1 yards per kick, the best single-season punting average in Weber State history … Had a career-best punt of 74 yards against Cal Poly, which ranks as the ninth best punt in school history … Had 18 punts of 50 or more yards and had 25 downed inside the 20 yard line. Prep: Graduated from the Peninsula School in Melbourne in 2010 ... Played Australian rules football and was team captain ... Also competed in the shot put for the track and field team. Personal: Blake O'Neill was born Feb. 19, 1993, in Mel- bourne … Working on a master's degree in sports manage- ment. ANDREW ROBINSON • LS R-Fr. • Troy, Mich. Ht.: 6-0 • Wt.: 209 Career Highlights: Walk-on … Has not played. Prep: Attended Troy Athens High School … Lettered two years, snapping and playing center. Personal: Andrew Edward Robinson was born March 12, 1996 ... Enrolled in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts. ROSTER No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Year Elig. Hometown (High School) 91 Kenny Allen K/P 6-3 230 Sr. Jr. Fenton, Mich. (Fenton ) — Andrew David PK 5-8 170 Fr. Fr. Massillon, Ohio (Washington) — Blake O'Neill P 6-2 215 5th Sr. Melbourne, Australia (Peninsula School) 49 Andrew Robinson LS 6-0 209 So. Fr. Troy, Mich. (Athens) 31 Kyle Seychel K/P 6-2 171 So. Fr. Brighton, Mich. (Hartland) 43 Scott Sypniewski LS 6-1 224 Jr. So. Ottawa, Ill. (Marquette) Redshirt freshman walk-on Kyle Seychel (31), a former soccer player who didn't start taking kicking seriously until his senior year of high school, could be the frontrunner to handle kickoffs. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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