North Texas Daily

Punt returns kick off excitement on the field

Punt returns kick off excitement on the field

Punt returns kick off excitement on the field
September 29
23:58 2014

Ehsan Azad / Staff Writer

It was the third quarter of the Mean Green’s home football game against Nicholls State and the team was up 49-3 when sophomore wide receiver Darvin Kidsy was back to return a punt.

He caught the ball on the sideline and could have gone out of bounds to make a safe play. Instead, Kidsy tiptoed on the sidelines and then reversed for a 75-yard return for a touchdown. The play was just another example of how important special teams play is for the Mean Green football team.

Going into the season, the team was looking for a replacement for former returner Brelan Chancellor, who had been ranked fifth in the nation in punt return yards. At the start of the year, junior receiver Carlos Harris had most of the snaps as the main punt returner, but Kidsy got the start against Nicholls State and flashed potential during the win.

“He doesn’t have freakish speed or freakish athletic ability, but he is just good at everything,” head coach Dan McCarney said. “At that position, you really got to want it to be a real good punt return guy.”

McCarney said there are a lot of below-to-average punt returners in college football, but Kidsy is one of those special players who has a knack for returning punts.

Kidsy now has had three punt returns for the season for a total of 132 return yards and one touchdown. His longest, in which he tiptoed on the sideline and returned it 75 yards during the game against Nicholls State, even made the No. 1 play on Sportscenter. Kidsy said he was just doing what was asked of him.

“The offense was looking for a spark, and I guess that was my job to do that,” Kidsy said. “It was just me getting my feet wet and showing the coaches that I can return and have the ball in my hands and make plays.”

Kidsy said being a punt returner is not an easy thing to do and it takes a lot of preparation.

“Not everyone can do that, and I take pride in that every practice me and Carlos practice with noodles in our arms, keeping our elbows in and just focusing,” Kidsy said.

Even though Kidsy put himself on the map with his performance against Nicholls State, the Mean Green’s next game against Indiana University will present a bigger challenge.  However,  Kidsy said he isn’t afraid or nervous.

“The team isn’t looking for guys that are nervous or scared, you just got to go out there and play like you know how to,” Kidsy said. “The team is ready for a big playmaker and I could do that for them.”

McCarney said the players blocking for Kidsy and not getting penalized are big reasons why Kidsy is able to show what he can do.

It is also the attitude that Kidsy brings to his responsibilities that stands out to McCarney.

“He is one of our favorites in the whole program and throughout the coaching staff,” McCarney said. “He loves winning and has such great personal pride, and he hates to be beat.”

The players on the team love the dynamic playmaking ability that Kidsy can bring to their games. Kidsy’s best friend on the team, redshirt freshman quarterback Dajon Williams, is impressed what Kidsy is doing lately.

“He showed everybody what he can do with his feet,” Williams said. “Other returners would have gone out of bounds.”

Williams said punt returners just getting 15 yards or so on any return is really beneficial to the team, especially for the offensive side of the ball.

“Field position is the best thing you can have in a football game,” Williams said. “Especially when they score, it gives the offense some time to rest.”

For his efforts, Kidsy was named to the Conference USA Special Team Players of the Week and that earned him a captain role this weekend against Indiana.

“That was just a start, I got way more in me,” Kidsy said. “I just got go out there and ball.”

Featured Image: Sophomore wide receiver Darvin Kidsy is pushed out of bounds while returning a punt against Nicholls State University on Sept. 20. Kidsy accumulated 132 yards on three returns during the massacre against Nicholls State. Photo by Ryan Vance – Staff Photographer

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