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2023 Ball State Cardinals Positional Previews: Special teams

Competition abounds at both kicker and punter for the Cardinals in 2023.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 01 Ball State at Tennessee Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


  • Ben VanGunten (graduate)
  • Adam Vinatieri Jr. (not listed on 2023 roster)
  • Chase Wyatt (graduate)


  • Jackson Courville (incoming recruit)
  • Jack Drake (DePauw [D-III])


  • Lucas Borrow
  • Carson Holmer

Ball State is keeping their platoon of specialists short, with just one placekicker and one punter listed on the 2023 spring roster as of publication.

Thankfully for them, their best specialist returns in Aussie punter (and friend of the blog) Lucas Borrow, who averaged 41.4 yards per punt in 2022, and limited returners to 17 touchbacks in 12 games. Borrow had 22 punts inside-the-20, nine punts over 50+ yards and just six touchbacks in a stellar campaign which earned him preseason all-MAC honors from both Athlon and Phil Steele.

Borrow will likely get some push from DePauw transfer Jack Drake, who was the Tigers’ primary punter in 2022. Drake averaged 43.3 yards per punt on 42 attempts, with 13 kicks of 50+ yards and 19 inside-the-20. Drake could also handle kickoffs, as he has experience at the position, with 70 kickoffs in 2022.

Carson Holmer is the lone incumbent at placekicker, and will likely have to play for his job against five-star true freshman Jackson Courville, who was a first-team all-Indiana kicker at Centerville HS. Courville owns the Indiana high school record for longest field goal in a game, breaking Mike Nugent’s mark with a 55-yarder vs. Marysville in 2022.

Courville and Drake arrived on campus over the summer, and will have to play catch-up in the fall, so for now, we’re projecting Holmer and Borrow at their respective positions.

This is the last of our Ball State football previews. If you missed any of the previous parts, please check out our 2023 MAC Football Preseason Preview storystream here!

BSU’s season kicks off Friday, Sept. 1 at 12 p.m. Eastern time in Lexington, Kentucky, where they are set to play the Kentucky Wildcats.