For the Flames, it always seems to come down to special teams. In both of the past two seasons, Liberty’s postseason hopes have come down to special teams, and it could be argued that up to five of the Flames’ 2014 match ups were won/lost on special teams. These guys may do the dirty work, but Liberty fans know all too well how easily a season can come down to a single play on this side of the ball. Here’s our preview of the depth chart:


Lunsford struggled much of 2013

Sr. -John Lunsford

The reigning Big South Special Teams Player of the Year should be ready for another stellar season. It’s unbelievable what Legatron is capable of.

So. -Avery Echols

Echols seems like he’d be solid from short range, but it’s tough to know how a guy will perform in a real game atmosphere. No matter, if something were to happen to Lunsford, Echols would be a drastic loss of range for the Flames. He was one for one in his attempts last year, making a single chip shot.



So. -Trey Turner

Turner isn’t a boomer, but he was very reliable with his accuracy last year, pinning opponents inside the 20 fifteen times.

Sr. -John Lunsford

I’m sure he’s really good at punting too.



So. -Trey Turner

Turner had a breakout spring holding the ball, nailing the hold on 34 of 35 attempts, and even hitting a 45 yard hold. Though Turner has been criticized for his unconventional style of holding, he has heard none of it, taking his holding game to all new heights this year. One of the biggest stories has been his quest to beating out Lucas Holder for the spot, despite the belief by many that it was Lucas’ “destiny” to be a holder. Coach Gill has certainly put all his eggs in Turner’s basket as Turner is the lone holder on the depth chart, and the Flames are not pursuing any holding prospects for the class of 2016.

In all seriousness, Javan Shashaty’s reliability was always taken for granted, and it will be important for Turner to continue to fill this role without a hitch.


Long Snapper

So. -Hunter Winstead

What I’ve seen of Winstead has been solid. Flames fans should have no reason to worry.

rFr. – David King

meh.. I’m sure King is a fine option. He is also listed as a tight end.


Kick Returner

rFr. -Corbin Jackson

Jackson is a corner who’s primary contributions will come on special teams this year. He is tied atop the depth chart with Zac Parker.

Jr. -Zac Parker

We are searching desperately for a way to get the ball in Parker’s hands, and returning kicks would be ideal. Parker will have to prove that he can be much more reliable than he was in 2014 if he wants to keep this spot.

Jr. -Alpha Jalloh

jallohJalloh was my favorite returner last season. He always maximized the yards given to him by the kick coverage with his vertical running style. I think his relegation to backup has more to do with him being a starting safety.

Sr. -D.J. Abnar

Abnar would be phenomenal at returner, but he will be doing bigger and better things on offense. Too much of a risk to put back there unless his offensive role is greatly diminished.


Punt Returner

Jr. -Zac Parker

Looks like Parker will be the man on punt returns. Again, he needs to improve his reliability and his decision making as far as fair catching the ball goes.

Sr. -Des Rice

I’d be surprised if Des lined up to return punts.

Sr. -Darrin Peterson

Liberty would have to be in crisis mode to risk putting Petey at punt returner.

Liberty would have to be in crisis mode to risk putting Petey at punt returner.

I’d be shocked if we saw Petey back there either. If we did, the field would have to open up like the Red Sea for him to not call a fair catch.