Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ringer the returner

When Spartan fans heard the news that sophomore running back Javon Ringer was going to be returning kicks this year, they immediately flashed back to the 2003 Alamo Bowl in which a certain quarter back went down after being hit on a special teams play.

Sure, it will be argued that Stanton was not hit during the play, rather because of a cheap-shot after the whistle blew, but that is beside the point.

The point is - is it worth the risk to have a star returning kicks with the entire opposition bearing down on him.

Ringer is going to be the featured back in 2006, sharing time with junior Jehuu Caulcrick and redshirt freshman A.J. Jimmerson. He earned the starting spot after leading the team in rushing last season on 6.7 yards per carry and coming in second on the team in total offense behind only Drew Stanton.

Fans who have cringed at the idea of Ringer playing returner should remember that people like - Charles Rogers, Derrick Mason, Courtney Hawkins, Gari Scott and DeAndra Cobb all spent time returning kicks and punts. (Scott is the all-time kick return yardage leader while Mason tops the list for punt return yards.)

That said, what John L. is doing with Ringer is not anything like having Stanton serve as a gunner in the 2003 Alamo Bowl. What he is doing is to put his best player out there to put his team in the best position to win.

That said, I'm going to keep holding my breath during every punt and kick that Ringer is returning.

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