Republican: Steady-handed Vance Barton the unsung hero behind the Minutemen's special teams - UMass Athletics

Republican: Steady-handed Vance Barton the unsung hero behind the Minutemen's special teams

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a feature on UMass long-snapper Vance Barton who is one of the key's to the Minutemen's strong special team's play.

"With my job, I know I'm doing good when I don't get noticed," Barton said Tuesday at UMass' 2013 football media day. "When I get noticed, it's either because I had a tackle or messed up on a snap."

Fortunately for UMass, it's been rarely the latter with the redshirt senior.

While punter Colter Johnson and kicker Blake Lucas have, deservedly, garnered most of the praise on a special teams unit that has quickly become one of the team's strongest, Barton is the spark plug that drives the kicking game. Without his laser snaps to Johnson or perfect placement on PAT and field goal snaps to holder Jeff Strait, none of those kicks would get off the ground.

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