clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Syracuse football: spring position battles to watch on special teams

An area the Orange need to improve in 2023

Virginia v Syracuse Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images

As the Syracuse Orange begin spring football practices, we finish our look at position battles with the special teams.

This group is going to be under the microscope as Syracuse looks to replace a couple of multi-year starters.


The Orange enter the first season without Andre Szmyt so we’ll be watching for kicking updates throughout camp. Brady Denaburg handled kick-off duties last season and he will likely battle James Williams, who is listed as punter/place kicker. Williams was a highly-regarded recruit and based on what we saw from the portal, he should be focused on place-kicking this spring.


Jack Stonehouse transferred in from Missouri where he averaged 42.3 yards per kick in 2022. Bringing in Stonehouse would indicate that Williams would be competing for the kicking job, but we’ll see if he gets thrown into this position battle as well.

Syracuse’s punter last season, Max von Marburg, averaged under 40 yards per kick and would seem to be headed towards back-up duty this fall. Ian Hawkins took the punting job in 2021 but did not appear last season. He might be a candidate for kick-off duty this fall.

Syndication: Gator Sports Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun / USA TODAY NETWORK

Long Snapper

Ethan Stangle and Mike Midkiff are looking to replace Aaron Bolinsky in this critical position. Stangle was the back-up at the end of last season and would seem to be the favorite heading into the spring.


Justin Barron returns and we’d assume he’ll be handling this job for another season. Midkiff was his back-up so expectations are that we’ll see him as the second-unit holder.

Notre Dame v Syracuse Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images

Kick Returners

Trebor Pena handled the majority of returns and while he produced solid results, he didn’t break anything for a touchdown in 2022. Could we see some reserves get a shot at returning if Pena is more involved in the Orange offense? Donovan Brown and Bryce Cohoon have strong track credentials so it might not be a shock to see either one back deep as the spring game approaches.

As we attend more practices this spring, we’ll keep you updated on what is happening with the Syracuse specialists.