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Tracy Claeys has an idea to save kickoffs in college football

The kickoff is likely on its way out of college football.

The death of the play has been theorized and discussed within the game and, given the appropriate emphasis on player safety, any play deemed too unsafe likely lives with an expiration date approaching.

But before the play becomes outlawed, Minnesota head coach Tracy Claeys has an idea he thinks might save it.

Speaking at Big Ten media days Monday, Claeys said he would require all blocking on kickoffs to be 1-on-1, eliminating scenarios where two or more blockers charge full-speed into a member of the coverage team. If that doesn't work, Claeys said, he'd be in favor of eliminating kickoffs entirely.

"We haven't talked about it as Big Ten coaches," he said. "My own personal belief is if that play obviously is causing that many injuries and it's that obvious from the data, then we need to replace it. Find a good way to replace it and get it out of the game.

"I think the players' safety is always the number one priority. And so my own thing is that I would like to see them, rather than have the Ws and teams stuff like that, I would like to see them first, let's try to do it where it's all man blocking, so you don't have the two-on-one blockings at full speed and that, and turn it all into a man-to-man scheme and give that a chance first.

"If the injuries continue to happen on that one play, I think it's in the best interests of the game to find another option."

If nothing else, a change to kickoffs would require special teams coaches everywhere to flex their X's and O's muscles.