ISU SPECIAL TEAMS: Harwood and Reiner have synergies with Sycamores | Indiana State Sports activities
Both had been part of the Sycamores program almost from the beginning of the Curt Mallory regime in 2017. Harwood played in all but one game of the Mallory era and took over for the announced long snapper Josh Appel from the 2017 season.
“Wyatt has been really solid and a valuable addition to us. He didn’t miss a beat, ”said ISU coach Curt Mallory.
Reiner came a year later after spending a season at the College of the Canyons.
The two are very rarely separated, which makes sense given the importance of their chemistry in the field. They also ensure that the chemistry is right.
“I made friends when I was the new guy, and when we got started we were even closer together. This synergy has only increased since then. We’re best friends, we hang out, I think being in such a friendship is motivating, ”said Reiner, who also noticed that the two of them were taking short snapshots in their apartment.
In the long snap world, participants often go to camps to improve their game, even as long as college. However, Harwood did not feel the need to do so.
“I only run with Travis. We’ve been in Terre Haute all summer and for the past three years we’ve been out for an hour or an hour and a half three times a week just to snap and kick. We’re really getting our craft together, ”said Harwood.
Reiner averaged 37.3 yards per punt in 2019, despite 19 of his 65 punts being shot within the 20. Both feel good that Reiner’s very crucial role in determining the field position for ISU defense in 2021 will be strong.
“Travis is a real professional. If we get it into the doggie range he can make it within the 10, I’ll do my job and then the defense will do theirs and we’ll be good. I think our field position will be a strength this season, ”said Harwood.
Harwood and Reiner don’t just work together in the punt game. Reiner is also the keeper for the Platzkicker and there was some extra work as the kicking heir Alan Selzer kicks the left.
“I had to learn to hold on the left. With the new challenge, we challenged ourselves extra. It’s similar with Wyatt, but it still works differently because I have to capture the snapshot from a different angle, ”explains Reiner.
Both Harwood and Reiner are listed second in 2021, just in case COVID-19 raises its ugly head. Harwood is listed as the running back, Reiner as the defensive back. Both are there in an emergency.
ISU should be experienced in special teams elsewhere. Though the second leg took a huge blow when Dakota Caton tore his ACL, there are four Sycamores who have returned kicks or punts for the team, including Daijon Collins, Michael Haupert, Dante Hendrix and Rontrez Morgan. The first three had return obligations in 2019, Morgan most recently returned kicks in 2018.
The kick game gets a new face. Selzer battled for the spot with Connor Tierney, but it seems Selzer is the most likely candidate. He was accurate and did more repetitions in the last few exercises.