A return specialist is a player on American football or Canadian football special teams who specializes in returning punts and kickoff returns. There are few players who are exclusively return specialists; most also play other positions such as wide receiver and running back. The special teams counterpart of a return specialist is a kicking specialist.
According to 2012 College Football All-America Team selection Venric Mark: "Returning punts is harder". "You have to judge the ball more, you have to know when to fair catch and when not to. You can't be a superhero and try to catch everything. With kick returns, you catch the ball and — boom — you're going."
- Greenstein, Teddy (2010-08-24). "Northwestern's Mark attracting notice: Freshman likely to get nod returning kickoffs and will get shot at punts". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-12-11.
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