Georgia Tech Football Spring Position Preview: Special Teams

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 14: Nathan Cottrell
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 14: Nathan Cottrell /

In today’s analysis, we will look at Georgia Tech football’s special teams including the placekickers, punter, returners for the upcoming season.

Georgia Tech football’s special teams play in the 2017 season arguably cost the Yellow Jackets a bowl bid. Everyone remembers Shawn Davis and his two misses in the Tennessee game that likely would have iced an opening win for the team, and signal a strong start to the season.

That, unfortunately, is not what happened.  Opponents were able to capitalize on their field goal opportunities, especially the Miami game where tech allowed four field goals to blow a double-digit lead.

Opponents also took advantage of their opportunities in the return game, averaging 24.5 yards per return on kickoffs and 9.4 yards per return on punt returns.

Field position begins with the ability to return kicks effectively and it will be interesting to see if teams even bother trying on kickoffs with the new NCAA rule of fair catching inside of the 25.

Place Kicker(s):

Shawn Davis

Davis was the starter last season for the Tennessee game but lost those duties to Brenton King after back to back misses in that game. He finished the season 2-4 on field goals making one against JSU and one against UNC.

Brenton King

King became the full-time placekicker after the Tennessee game and performed admirably going 5-6 on the season with his only miss against Virginia Tech. He and Davis split time on kickoff duties.


Pressley Harvin III

Pressley Harvin III can only be described as a weapon. His longest kick of the season was 62 yards. He also had 16 punts land inside the 20-yard line, and 13 kicks of 50 yards or more. The punter is not used much at Georgia Tech but Harvins ability to flip the field on opponents make him an invaluable asset for the team.


Brad Stewart

Stewart returned 16 punts for a total of 105 yards and an average return of 6.6 yards. his longest return was 21 yards. It seems likely that he will continue that role into the 2018 season and hopefully an improved unit will help improve his return numbers.

Nate Cottrell 

Cottrell handled the majority of the Jackets kick off returns managing a 20.4 yard average per return which is not exactly spectacular. As I mentioned before, it will be interesting to see how the rule change will affect kick returns next season and if teams will opt to take more fair catches than risk a return.

Omahri Jarrett

Jarrett may see more opportunities to return kicks this season after having a strong end of the year in 2017. He returned 8 kicks for 144 yards at an average of 18 yards per kick. While these are not stellar numbers, they are not that bad for such a small sample size. If he shows enough improvement throughout spring he may have a starting job on special teams.

Next: Georgia Tech Football Spring Position Preview: Safeties

Overall, Georgia Tech’s special teams in 2018 enter the season as an experienced group though outside of Pressley Harvin III, it’s safe to say that their performance has been underwhelming. If the Jackets are going to return to a bowl game this upcoming season, they’ll need the special teams to take a step forward.