July 22, 2011
Seminoles.com Senior Writer
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Over the past two days, Seminoles.com has been giving FSU fans an early glimpse of the 2011 Florida State Football Almanac with the offensive and defensive outlooks that will be featured in the publication.
Today, we present the Seminole specialists.
Remember, you can own a copy of the almanac by placing a pre-order for $20. Click here to order a copy. Shipments are expected to take place in mid-August.
Jimbo Fisher has repeatedly said he believes the Seminoles have the finest special teams units in the nation, and it’s hard to argue otherwise when assessing coach Eddie Gran’s contingent. Strong-legged junior Dustin Hopkins will handle all kickoffs and kicks, while senior Shawn Powell is back to provide booming punts with outstanding hang-time. Greg Reid will bring his electric punt and kick returning skills back for a third season, while junior Dax Dellenbach was rock steady as the long-snapper.
Hopkins, a third-year starter was a semifinalist for the 2010 Groza Award after scoring 119 points – the third-highest total in school history. The Houston native converted all four field goal attempts and scored 14 points in the Chick-fil-A Bowl win over South Carolina. On the year, he converted 22 of 28 field goal attempts, highlighted by his walk-off 55-yarder to beat Clemson at the horn. Hopkins also brings a streak of 86 consecutive PAT conversions into the 2011 campaign. Equally important, Hopkins’ 41 touchbacks ranked second nationally and his prowess in that area will once again be instrumental in FSU’s field position game.
As a junior, Powell enjoyed one of the finest seasons for an FSU punter in school history, averaging 44.3 yards. Of his career-high 50 punts, 16 pinned opponents inside the 20 and he forced six fair catches. Powell earned ACC Specialist of the Week honors after pinning Florida at its 4, 7 and 5-yard lines. His statistically best effort came in the bowl game when he averaged 50.8 yards against South Carolina with a 48.4 net.
Reid remains one of the nation’s most dangerous return specialists, especially when handling punts. He averaged 10.1 yards per return, but his mere presence led to outstanding field position as opponents often punted away from him. Still, he managed a 74-yard return for a score against Samford. As a kickoff return man, Reid established a single-season school record with 742 yards.