In all kinds of weather, University of Florida punter Johnny Townsend proves time and time again to be one of the most reliable players on Coach McElwain’s roster.
The 6’1″ Orlando native was originally committed to Ohio State for most of his senior year before deciding to join the Gators. The Gator Nation is happy with his final decision, as he has averaged an impressive 49.5 yards per punt this season, good for sixth-best nationally. Townsend’s hard work in the off season has allowed him to gain more than four yards from last year’s 45.4 yards, which ranked third in the country and first in the conference in net punting.
“I just like trying to make the biggest impact as I can for my team. I know we put a lot of work in during the off season. I’m very motivated to be my best everyday, and hopefully it’ll pay off at the end of the day,” Townsend said Tuesday.
The red shirt junior is one of 156 semifinalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy, one of the most prestigious awards for college football. It is given every year to the absolute best scholar athlete in college football.
— Johnny Townsend (@johnnytownsend1) September 29, 2016
Townsend is one of the Gators’ most humble and genuine players off the field, but on the field he wants to win more than anyone. After last week’s game against LSU was postponed, Townsend is even more ready for this week’s game.
“[Needing to postpone the LSU game] was obviously disappointing because who doesn’t want to play LSU in the Swamp,” Townsend said. “We’re all trying to make a point every week, and in regards to last week, that’s in the hands of the SEC. That’s behind us now and we’re focusing on Missouri this week, our Homecoming game, and winning that one.”
The last time LSU was in the Swamp, Townsend took a red shirt season and watched the game from the sidelines. Townsend doesn’t want to end his career without playing the Tigers at home, but knows there are some other Tigers to take care of this week.
This week’s game against SEC East rival Missouri (2-3) will be another test for the No. 18 Gators (4-1).
“Every game has a lot of incentive,” Townsend said Tuesday. “Every SEC game is a rivalry for us and every game is one step closer to a championship.”
Townsend and the Gators won’t have to look far this weekend to see what a Gator championship team looks like—the 2006 National Championship team will reunite in the Swamp with a special salute at halftime on Saturday.
Townsend’s teammates say his passion is contagious and he plays like a true champion.
“We go into every single week with the same mentality,” says Townsend. “We come out with a chip on our shoulders and give everything we can every week.”
That’s Johnny Townsend: a guy who bleeds Orange and Blue.