EAST LANSING — Australian punter Mitchell Crawford officially announced on Thursday via Twitter that he is joining the Michigan State Spartans.
Excited to make it official. https://t.co/NFVhUDZs83
— MC (@mkcrawford46) April 16, 2020
The 6-foot, 185 pound former UTEP punter averaged 39.6 yards on 61 punts in the 2019 season. 61 yards was his longest punt.
This signing brings some clarity to a position where a huge void had been left with senior Jake Hartbarger finishing up his Spartan career.
Before the signing, there were two redshirt-junior punters on the depth chart in Bryce Baringer and Tyler Hunt, along with Jack Bouwmeester. Bouwmeester is also from Australia, a trend quickly infiltrating collegiate special teams, but he decided to leave the program this offseason.
Baringer, an Illinois transfer and Waterford, Michigan native, assisted during his freshman year after an injury to Hartbarger with 15 punts and 32.4 yards per punt.
Hunt, a Gobles, Michigan native, averaged 40.1 yards per punt on 63 attempts during his freshman season. He had a long of 63 yards. Hunt has mostly played in special teams/kickoff coverage the past couple seasons, with 13 games played but zero punt attempts.
Mel Tucker and company obviously felt the need to go out and get another punter, and Crawford will bring some competition to a punter position held with an iron fist for the past several seasons.
Sutton Magee is a general assignment reporter for Impact 89FM WDBM who has primarily covered women’s basketball. Follow him on Twitter at @suttonmagee12.