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2023 Miami RedHawks Positional Previews: Special teams

The RedHawks live and die by the boot, and thankfully for them, they return both their major contributors.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 23 Frisco Football Classic Bowl - North Texas v Miami (OH) Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


  • N/A


  • Kellan McLaughlin (incoming arrival)


  • Graham Nicholson
  • Dom Dzioban
  • Alec Bevelheimer

Miami returns all three contributors from last season, with placekicker Graham Nicholson and punter Dom Dzioban returning as starters for the RedHawks in 2023.

The duo were some of the better players at their positions in the conference, which is key for how Miami likes to play their games. The RedHawks value elite special teams play, so having a steady hand at both placekicker and punter is tantamount.

Nicholson was up to the task for the most part in 2022, with a 18-of-23 mark on all field goals, missing just one extra-point attempt. Nicholson was especially effective inside 40 yards, going 11-of-13 on kicks from that range. The one question about Nicholson is range; he was never asked to kick from beyond 50 yards last season, and went 0-2 from long-distance in 2021. He’ll likely retain his kickoff duties as well.

Dzioban was fourth in the MAC in 2022 in average punt distance, with a 42.5 yard mark on an incredible 74 attempts. Dzioban’s effectiveness in pinning opponents back set up Miami’s defense for success, as he picked up 27 punts inside-the-20 and 14 punts of 40+ yards. He earned second-team all-MAC honors for his efforts.

In terms of backup options, Dzioban is listed as a kicker/punter, though he doesn’t have any field goal stats in three seasons. It’s likely that incoming true freshman Kellan McLaughlin will be trained to the backup placekicker. Junior punter Alec Bevelheimer is the team’s backup in case Dzioban goes down, but is also the team’s primary holder on field goal attempts.