I'm admittedly a bit concerned about Pitt's special teams for 2011 with the loss of kicker/punter Dan Hutchins. He was a bit asset over the past two seasons and to say there will be no adjustment period with new players in those roles would be insane.
Mike's been doing a great job previewing the positions and I'm sure he'll have a great assessment of the special teams over here. I've also got a look of them in the weekly feature at SB Nation Pittsburgh.
The unit, which has been respectable in recent years, is in for a major overhaul. Most notably, gone is All-Big East First Team punter/kicker Dan Hutchins. Hutchins had the starter for two years and will be sorely missed. He nailed more than 75 percent of his field goals in his career, and while he didn't have the strongest leg, he was accurate.
In addition, he had turned into a first-rate punter, averaging just under 45 yards per punt last season. His deep punts often put Pitt opponents in bad field position, an underrated weapon in football.
Hutchins will be replaced in part by junior kicker Kevin Harper. Harper was known for having the stronger leg, but lacking in accuracy. Barring the unexpected, he'll enter the season as the starting kicker without much controversy. The punting duties are still up for grabs among three walk-ons - Matt Yoklic, Aaron Hassett, and Drake Greer.