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Spring Football Preview: Kickers and Punters Looking to Provide a Boost to OSU Next Season

The Cowboys' special teams could be a bright spot again in 2024.
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Oklahoma State’s special teams were a strong point last season, and the team hopes that will be the case again in 2024.

The most significant difference for the Cowboys going into spring ball is the kicker situation. Last season, Alex Hale had an impressive campaign, making 27 of his 34 field goal attempts.

Kickers on Roster

Logan Ward, redshirt junior

Thomas Murray, redshirt sophomore

Kason Shrum, redshirt senior

Projecting Depth Chart

OSU will not have Hale next season, but it will have some options. Among those options is returning kicker Logan Ward. Although Ward didn’t kick any field goals in 2023, he was the Cowboys’ kickoff specialist.

With 85 kickoffs, including 43 touchbacks, Ward was an asset for OSU. Also, Ward began kicking extra points in the final two games, making all seven of his attempts.

Ward projects to be the starter ahead of two kickers with no collegiate experience. Thomas Murray played his high school ball in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he made 13-of-16 field goals as a senior and missed only one of his 46 extra points.

Murray is the likely backup ahead of Kason Shrum, the son of OSU President Kayse Shrum. Shrum played soccer in high school and college before transferring to OSU and is entering his third season on the team.

Although the Cowboys will see some drastic changes in the kicking game next year, their punting core will look the same. It isn’t the most prestigious or coveted position, but punters can often swing games.

Punters on Roster

Wes Pahl, redshirt senior

Hudson Kaak, sophomore

Projecting Depth Chart

OSU returns both of its punters from last season. Pahl and Kaak split time on the field last season, but it’s possible Mike Gundy leans toward one guy going into 2024.

Pahl finished with 27 punts last season but only 13 after the start of conference play. Still, he finished the season with 1,218 punting yards and six landing inside the 20-yard line.

Despite Pahl’s solid outings, Kaak is the likely starter for 2024 after his finish last season. Kaak became the main guy in the final weeks, as 33 of his 38 punts came after the Big 12 slate began.

Kaak showed why he was a top-rated punter out of Australia in 2023, with 1,508 yards of punting, including 20 kicks that landed inside the 20.

Although Kaak will likely be the starter, Pahl might still have his moments when the Cowboys need to flip the field. Last season, Pahl finished with eight punts of at least 50 yards, compared to Kaak’s two.

There is still plenty to determine throughout spring and fall camps, but OSU’s special teams have the potential to be a true bright spot.

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