Special teams remain the forgotten part of college football. Our transfer portal rankings try to show that difference-makers are available, and teams might regret not taking one of these guys when the game is on the line.
Top Transfer Portal Specialists for 2024
10) Zach Haynes, P, Mississippi State
New Mexico State surprised many people last year thanks to multiple aspects of their team, but Jerry Kill’s retirement ensured that a wave of players would depart.
Zach Haynes was an underrated piece of the Aggies’ run, but he turned his play into an SEC opportunity. He punted 52 times for New Mexico State, averaging 40.9 yards per punt.
9) Chris Freeman, K, UConn
If UConn can rediscover its 2022 form under Jim Mora, Freeman should be a busy man in 2024. With Indiana, he kicked just 32 extra points and 14 field goals.
He connected on 31 extra points and 10 field goals, but he’s hoping to eclipse those numbers with his new team.
8) Jesse Mirco, P, Vanderbilt
One thing is certain: Jesse Mirco will be much busier in 2024 than he was the last three years at Ohio State. The former Buckeyes punter punted 129 times in his time with Ohio State, averaging 44.0 yards per punt.
He punted 49 times each of the last two seasons and should expect to do much more for the Commodores in 2024.
7) Atticus Sappington, K, Oregon
Not only does he have one of the most unique names in college football, but he’s also a good kicker who should see more action by joining his former team’s rival. Atticus Sappington made 64 of his 66 extra points with Oregon State and 18 of his 21 field goals in the last 2 years. He joins an offense that expects to put up points, so he better condition his leg this offseason.
6) Ryan Coe, K, Cal
Ryan Coe bet on himself when he entered the transfer portal in 2022 after a huge year with Cincinnati, but North Carolina used him less than he hoped. So he heads West to Cal thanks to an opening left by the guy above.
Coe made all eight of his extra points last year and also connected on three of his four field goals. In 2022, he made all 44 of his extra points and 19 of 23 field goal attempts when he was with Cincinnati.
5) Mateen Bhaghani, K, UCLA
A freshman kicker who was as cool as the other side of the pillow joins a UCLA team that should hopefully score more than the Cal offense did last year. Bhaghani made all 29 of his extra points for the Golden Bears and eight of his nine field goal attempts for a total of 53 points in his first year of college football.
4) Matthew Shipley, K/P, Arkansas
Arkansas snagged a guy who can do everything for the kicking game. Matthew Shipley was a multi-year starter for the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors as both the kicker and the punter. In his four years out West, he made 125 of his 127 extra points and 56 of his 73 field goal attempts. He brings 293 points with him to Fayetteville.
Shipley also was a dual threat as a punter, punting 178 times for 7,217 yards for Hawaii. That was good for a 40.5-yard average. While his numbers declined with his punting, he’ll still produce enough solid kicks to potentially get him the job with Arkansas.
3) Caden Costa, K, Memphis
Memphis addressed their kicking concerns heading into 2024 by adding Caden Costa to the roster. While he only attempted seven kicks last year (making all of them), he was the starter for the Rebels in 2021. That year, he made 46 of 48 extra points while connecting on 14 of his 17 field goals.
The Tigers figure to have one of the best offenses in the Group of Five and hope that Costa is plenty busy in 2024.
2) Jack Burgess, P, Texas Tech
Texas Tech hopes that Jack Burgess never sees the field in 2024, but not because of his talent. The Red Raiders want to keep the offense moving, and they want to keep the punter on the bench as much as possible. If they can’t convert on a drive, Burgess can flip the field for them.
Last year, he punted 54 times, producing an average of 47.2 yards per punt. An argument could be made that he got robbed in the Big Sky All-Conference voting, as he finished as an honorable mention selection behind players he beat in punting average.
1) Mitch Jeter, K, Notre Dame
Much like New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, Mitch Jeter is as consistent as they come. Ok, the comparison is a stretch, but the point remains. If you need a kick made, Jeter’s your guy, and it’s a big reason why he made College Football Network’s All-SEC Honorable Mention team.
In his two years as a starter with South Carolina, he made 77 of his 80 extra points and 23 of 25 field goals. He also produced 144 points in those seasons, and Notre Dame gets a reliable player who can put points on the board if the offense sputters.
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