07.Mar.2010 Ryan Allen Transfers
You might ask: what’s the big deal about a backup punter transferring, Angry?
Well, I will tell you.
I saw Allen punt in person a handful of times, and he was light-years better than Johnny Hekker. We’re talking punts that went above the stadium, ala an NFL leg. His only downside was consistency.
It begs the question: why would Riley spend so much time developing an equally inconsistent punter with a worse leg in Johnny Hekker? Anyone who watched pregame kicking could see Allen was the man.
I’ll be curious to follow Allen’s career at Louisiana Tech. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t make the NFL, where as Johnny Hekker has no shot. To me this is as egotistical as Mike Riley gets. He wants to have a “great story” and “uncover a gem”…a high school QB turned punter. If Riley can get him to be all-conference by senior year it will continue his reputation as a talent evaluator. The problem with that logic is that any coach could turn an average athlete into an all-conference punter if given four years. Most don’t do it because it’s a large investment with little payoff. Hekker was a liability last year. Do not mention the Sun Bowl or any false positive statistics–he was a liability and has been a liability since he joined the team. Riley has not once used the one interesting facet of Hekker: his ability to throw on a fake punt.
The bottom line is that Ryan Allen was the man for this job and because of egotistical stubbornness Mike Riley let him walk. Another questionable decision. These are really beginning to add up. Little roster tweaks like this are a big deal. Riley puts practically zero emphasis on special teams and other than lucking into Alexis Serna it’s come back to bite him (e.g. Civil War, Stanford 2008, etc). The program is worse off today.
In other news, Moevao was denied an additional year. I don’t think any of us can make a good argument against that decision and it’s what we all expected. Personally, I’m glad to see the reigns handed over to a player with more upside.