Here’s who will return kicks for the Salukis this season

By Sean Carley, @SCarleyDE

The Saluki football team has new players returning kicks for the first time since 2012. 

Returning duties were handled by 2014 Missouri Valley Football Conference First Team All-Conference honoree Tay Willis for kickoffs and two-time MVFC honorable mention LaSteven McKinney for punts in 2013 and 2014. 

True freshman running back Daquan Isom and redshirt freshman wide receiver Matt DeSomer will be returning kicks and punts respectively. 

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In Saturday’s contest against Indiana, Isom returned two kicks for a total of 43 yards.

Isom said he was nervous for his first collegiate game, especially against Big Ten opponent Indiana. 

“It was huge for me,” he said. “I stepped on the field and it was like I’m here. I was kind of nervous at first, but when I got that first contact it was like I was at home.”

DeSomer said the last time he returned kicks was in middle school, so he has to re-learn the position.

He did not register a return in the game against Indiana, but fielded two punts cleanly with a fair catch. 

Coach Dale Lennon said fair catches are common early in season. 

“If you watch the early games, you see a lot more fair catches because everyone is trying to make sure the return man is comfortable in that role,” he said. “Eventually, they take the red light off and let him play.”

Sean Carley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @SCarleyDE

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