It’s been no secret that the Arizona Wildcats had glaring issues on special teams during Rich Rodriguez’s tenure.
It is blatantly apparent now that new head coach Kevin Sumlin and special teams coach Jeremy Springer agree and are taking steps to remedy the problem. The first step was taken Saturday.
Wimberley High School (Wimberley, Texas) long snapper Geno Albini accepted a preferred walk-on spot and committed to Arizona.
Beyond blessed to announce I'm officially committed to the University of Arizona! #BearDown #Ateam18 @CoachSpringerST @coachtheronaych @CoachSumlin @CJRecruiting1 @ArizonaFBall pic.twitter.com/pNA1BoG8kt— Geno Albini (@GenoAlbini) February 3, 2018
The 5-foot-11, 200-pound specialist is the 18th-ranked snapper in the 2018 class, according to Kohl’s Kicking, which rates him as a 4.5 star prospect.
“He has continued to refine his technique and is snapping with a quick and explosive motion,” a Kohl’s Kicking coach observed. “Albini is a snapper that runs well and provides a snap that is easy for the punter to handle.”
Arizona’s depth — or lack thereof — at long snapper was exposed last season after starter Nick Reinhardt tore his ACL early in the season.
The Wildcats used Donald Reiter on punts, and resorted to using center Nathan Eldridge and tight end Trevor Wood on field goals/extra points which proved problematic at times.
Having adequate depth would have made it much less of an issue, which the new coaching staff evidently realizes.