Unless your kicker flubs his kick, or makes a remarkable play, or is known for off-field things, most casual football fans can’t name the special teams focal point off the top of their head. I, of course, being the lover of #punting that I am, am not one of those people.
The two Jeremys of Penn State football (Boone and Kapinos) made a name for themselves by becoming All-Big Ten or stalwart NFL players, and whomever was going to take over for them would have big shoes to fill, and would be requested by me to officially change their first name. Ryan Breen was in line to be that player.
Breen was a three-star punter and kicker from Michigan, part of Penn State’s top 40 2007 recruiting class. He never would get a chance to start for the Nittany Lions, as after Boone and All-Big Ten four-year-starter Kevin Kelly graduated following the 2008 season, into the PSU program came the vaunted Anthony Fera, who took over punting and kicking duties.
Instead of sticking around for two more years for backup duty, Breen transferred to Ohio Dominican University, a DII school, and he fell off of Penn State fans’ radar. But not mine.
Shout out to all the other 49s in the past fifty years. I’m sorry I felt like I couldn’t do any of you justice.
Jim Coates (not that one!)
Kevin Hart (not that one!)
Tom Hull (Mike’s dad!)