The 90 Illini #90: Richard Kersten June 3, 2012
Cary-Grove HS / Cary, IL
Ranking last year: NR
What I Know About Him:
I have only a few rules that I live by, but one of them is this: When putting together a list of the 90 most important Illini players for any specific season, and when ranking them from the most important to the least important, do NOT leave off the backup long snapper. I mean, your season could be rolling along fine, and then someone rolls up on the ankle of starting long snapper Zak Pederson during a punt return and BOOM backup Richard Kersten is probably the 38th most important player on the entire team.
So we start our list with Kersten. And please do not think of him as ranking last. There will be around 120 players on the roster once the freshmen arrive, so Kersten is by no means irrelevant. And as I said above, one injury to one player on one punt return and he’s basically a starter.
What I Expect From Him:
Hmmm… these are going to be difficult for the first 20 or 30 players. Lots of freshmen, so lots of “I expect him to redshirt, learn the playbook, and get stronger”.
For Kersten specifically, I expect that he’ll be preparing to take over for Pederson in 2013. We usually add a walkon long snapper (is it long snapper or longsnapper? I’m going with long snapper) in every other class or so, so maybe we’ll bring in someone this fall to compete with him for the job next year. Or maybe he’s the guy and he’ll get this year to prepare for 3 years as the starter. Or maybe he’s really a linebacker and the LS next to his name on the roster was supposed to say LB but it’s a typo, meaning I’m calling him a long snapper but he’s really a redshirt freshman linebacker.
Whose idea was it to rank 90 players again?