Evan McPherson astonished Florida Gators trustworthy by coming into the 2021 NFL Draft pursuing his junior year at UF. One particular of the most accurate kickers in faculty historical past, McPherson’s departure left the staff with restricted choices to fill his footwear.
Months later on and before the to start with year without having McPherson lining up kicks, UF now has a number of shorter and extensive-time period choices in the fold.
UF returns a person kicker with knowledge on the subject in a Gators uniform, previous stroll-on and redshirt senior Chris Howard, who was awarded a scholarship this earlier spring. Howard crammed in for McPherson in 3 games very last year, commencing just one, connecting on 7-of-seven extra points and two-of-two industry plans, whilst also tallying 8 kickoffs.
In addition, Florida will welcome the transfer of graduate kicker Jace Christmann, who was identified as a wander-on at Mississippi State by none other than Florida’s head mentor Dan Mullen and particular teams coordinator Greg Knox, who have been then on the Bulldogs’ employees.
In four seasons of actively playing time at Mississippi State, three as a starter, Christmann hit on 32-of-40 field ambitions with a long of 51 yards, nailing all but 1 of his 128 career more-place tries. Next Mike Leach’s introduction as head mentor this earlier year, nonetheless, Christmann lost his starting off gig to Arizona State transfer Brandon Ruiz.
Wanting to the extensive-phrase, Florida been given a commitment from 2022 Severna Park (Md.) kicker Trey Smack on June 23, numerous times just after he acquired an give from UF. Times ahead of Smack’s pledge, UF hosted McPherson’s youthful brother Alex, a fellow 2022 prospect, on an formal stop by.
Howard and Christmann are expected to contend for McPherson’s setting up purpose in the coming months through Florida’s tumble camp, the two kickers furnishing activity working experience and various several years of familiarity with the Gators’ coaching staff in some capacity.
It is really difficult to detect a preferred to acquire the job suitable now. Given that Christmann did not participate in Florida’s spring camp as he has yet to formally transfer, Howard logically should really have a leg up on the levels of competition as matters currently stand, but Christmann’s ties to the staff members and statistical résumé can not be forgotten.
Smack, meanwhile, will enroll when Howard and Christmann have graduated and moved on from the university except if Howard is granted a sixth calendar year of university eligibility down the line. Barring one more acquisition through the transfer portal, Smack could walk into a starting work through his freshman year at UF in 2022.
Though replacing a player of McPherson’s caliber is less difficult said than carried out, a person won’t be able to knock Florida for not striving.
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