Our summer tour of FBS schools looks at the specialists for the Syracuse Orange.
9/9/13 punting update:
"Riley Dixon will be the starting punter for Syracuse against Wagner on Saturday, replacing incumbent Jonathan Fisher. The move was announced Monday by head coach Scott Shafer in a video on the Syracuse athletic department website. 'The other kid who did a great job for us is our backup punter, who is going to start for us this week,' Shafer said. 'Riley Dixon came in (and played well).' Dixon punted four times in the 48-27 loss to Northwestern and averaged a stellar 48.5 yards per kick. He placed two inside the 20-yard line and had a long of 56 yards."9/2/13 punting update:
"The first punter Scott Shafer sent out on Saturday was not the one Syracuse routinely trotted out the last two seasons. But watching Riley Dixon come on to punt with SU stalled in opponents' territory should not sound sirens that something is wrong with the starter, Jonathan Fisher. According to the Shafer, that's going to be the plan this year. 'We're using (Dixon) in the red zone punting,' Shafer said. 'He does a good job with his hang time and he can do that unorthodox kick with the end over end. We'll leave Fish for the midfield and beyond.' Shafer stuck to this word. Even on fourth down with the ball spotted at midfield, Shafer sent out Dixon to punt. But a five-yard delay of game penalty sent Dixon to the sideline and Fisher into action. Dixon uses a torpedo-style punt popularized in Australian football and rugby, where the ball spins on its long axis, making it difficult to field and likely to bounce back away from the end zone."8/24/13 kicking update:
"Syracuse has its kicker back in the fold, coach Scott Shafer said Saturday morning. Senior Ross Krautman, the starter at placekicker, is 100 percent healed from a groin injury that had limited his participation, Shafer said. 'Ross, we're getting some good kicks with him, especially (Sunday),' Shafer said. 'He feels good'."Kicker: Ross Krautman, senior (Franklin Lakes, NJ / Ramapo HS)
Ranks second on SU’s career field goal percentage record list (.787 pct., 48-61), fourth on SU’s career field goals made list (48), fourth in career points (250) and fourth in career PATs (106) ... One of 15 true freshmen to play in 2010
Spring Game: hit field goals of 40 & 32 yards, made three extra points
“I think Ross is definitely the established placekicker for us. We always want to invite that competition, but really I think Ross is the guy. I’m putting it down. He’s done some good things over the years and we’re looking for some continued success." - head coach Scott ShaferKicker: Ryan Norton, sophomore (Garden City, N.Y. / Garden City HS)
2012: Played in all 13 games, handling kickoff duties … Averaged 61.2 yards per kickoffKicker/punter: Riley Dixon, sophomore (Blossvale, NY / Christian Brothers Academy)
2012: Played in two games … Against USC, punted twice for 61 yards (30.5 avg) … Against Stony Brook, punted once for 48 yardsPunter: Jonathan Fisher, junior (Oakfield, NY / Oakfield-Alabama Central)
2012: Jonathan Fisher handled the majority of the punting duties for the second straight season. He averaged 38.4 yards-per-kick and placed 18 inside the 20-yard line.
Last September: “I’ve been doing it (punting) for eight years,” Fisher said earlier this week. “I know what I have to do. It’s really a matter of time you put into it, and your technique every day.”Long snapper: Sam Rodgers, junior (State College, PA / Mercersburg Academy)
Returning starter from the past two seasons.
"I've actually had a pretty exciting offseason. In May a teammate and I started a chapter of Uplifting Athletes at Syracuse with our football team. Uplifting Athletes is a non profit organization that partners college football teams with rare disease research. So this summer we held our first "Lift for Life" event which was a weight lifting competition organized with the Defense & Specialists competing against the Offense. There was also a fundraising aspect to the competition and we raised $8,849 for Brain Cancer. We chose brain cancer as our rare disease in honor of our former teammate (punter) Rob Long, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the end of his senior season in 2010. This spring he celebrated his 2 year anniversary of being cancer free! We will continue holding events and raising awareness through the season and in the years to come.Long snapper: Eric Morris, senior (Simi Valley, CA / Royal HS)
Also in May, I went on a mission trip to Haiti for a week where I worked at an orphanage. My whole family made the trip and it was an awesome week to give the people of Haiti hope and show them God's love. Haiti is currently the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
Football wise, I was in Syracuse from the middle of May all the way until camp started just a few days ago. As a team we were lifting and conditioning all summer, preparing for the upcoming season. As a specialist unit we are excited about this upcoming year and feel good about the guys we have returning. This summer I was trying to build my frame and put on weight which I accomplished and am now weighing 235. I'm continuing to work on consistency with my snaps and just very excited for my junior season."
Made the team as a walk-on prior to the 2011 season after transferring from SUNY Morrisville.Long snapper: Keith Mitsuuchi, sophomore (Torrance, CA / South Torrance HS)
Enrolled at Syracuse in January 2013 and participated in Spring football
High School: Recorded 58 catches for 800 yards and six touchdowns, in addition to nine tackles, in his career as a tight end