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Minnesota Football: Ryan Santoso is No. 10 in TDG’s Top 10

The countdown from No. 10 to No. 1 begins with the Gophers’ starting punter and former starting kicker.

Quick Lane Bowl Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

For those of you who might’ve missed the memo on Monday, The Daily Gopher is counting down the Top 10 players on the current football roster. TDG staff members were asked to submit their rankings based on on-field performance and those selections were used to create a composite set of rankings. We’ll be unveiling our Top 10 every couple days over the next few weeks.

Our countdown begins with the Gophers’ starting punter and former starting kicker Ryan Santoso at No. 10.

Santoso will be a senior this fall, but has been a special teams standout for the Gophers since 2013. He redshirted as a freshman in 2012 before taking as the starting kicker in 2013. As a redshirt freshman, Santoso made 12-of-18 field goals, including a career-long 52-yard game-winner against Purdue. He converted 45-of-46 extra point attempts, kicked off 70 times and notched 38 touchbacks, and even led the team in scoring with 81 points.

As a sophomore, Santoso retained the starting kicker position and made 17-of-21 field goals. Seven attempts were from 40 yards or more, and he was perfect on attempts from inside the 40-yard line. He was also 32-for-32 on extra point attempts, tallied 27 touchbacks on 58 kickoffs, and again led the team in scoring with 82 points. Santoso was also a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award — for college football’s top kicker — and named All-Big Ten Third Team by the conference media and honorable mention by the media

Last season, with the graduation of punter Peter Mortell, Santoso assumed the role of starting punter, passing his kicking duties to Emmit Carpenter.

His first punt as the full-time starting punter wasn’t so bad.

But as a punter, Santoso wasn’t quite able to live up to the lofty expectations set by his predecessor. He averaged 40.9 yards per punts, which ranked 78th nationally and sixth seventh in the Big Ten. The previous season, Mortell averaged 43.4 yards per punt, which was good enough to rank 27th nationally and third in the Big Ten. With that said, Santoso was able to place 29 of his 77 punts inside the 20, and 13 of his punts were greater than 50 yards.

Before you launch into your argument against Santoso’s inclusion in TDG’s Top 10, allow me to present one final piece of evidence for your consideration:

Check back tomorrow for the reveal of No. 9!