Camp Preview: Dorsey Among Best Returners in the Country

Camp Preview: Dorsey Among Best Returners in the Country

KINGSTON, R.I. - Rhode Island expects to have one of the best kick and punt return units in the country, thanks to the presence of senior return specialist Ahmere Dorsey (Wilmington, Del.).

In his first season with the Rams, Dorsey exploded in the kicking game, becoming the first player in program history with more than 1,000 combined yards on special teams, leading the nation with 1,085 yards. Dorsey, who was a second team All-CAA Football return specialist, was ninth in the country with his 28.4 yards per kick return average. He also averaged 11.1 yards per punt return and was the only player in CAA Football with both a kick return and punt return for a touchdown. 

The Rams also will have junior Matt Pires (Lincolndale, N.Y.) back deep at times. A third-team all-conference selection as a freshman, Pires was limited by injuries in 2018. With him healthy, Rhode Island has two experienced returners in the fold who are a threat for big returns every time they field a kick.

Junior C.J. Carrick (New Hyde Park, N.Y.) has a firm grip on the place kicking duties and already is among the best kickers in program history. Last season he was 6-for-8 on field goal attempts and 43-of-44 on extra points, the second most extra points in a season in team history. After two seasons, Carrick already ranks fifth in URI history among kickers with 111 career points.

The punter spot will be a competition in training camp among freshman Henry Westermann (Haddonfield, N.J.), redshirt junior Matt Sawicki (Floral Park, N.Y.) and redshirt freshman Perry Shelbred (Waccabuc, N.Y.). Junior Brian Goodwin (Smithfield, R.I.) joined the team for spring camp and will kick and punt. 

Senior Joe DeLeone (Short Hills, N.J.) gives the Rams an experienced long snapper, having handled the chores for Rhode Island for each of the last 27 games. Redshirt freshman Griffin Saks (Durham, Conn.) and incoming freshman Brady Roark (Mahwah, N.J.) give the team quality depth at the spot.

Check Tuesday for a look at the Quarterbacks.