Florida Football: Special Teams Preview

Throughout training camp, coach Dan Mullen has put a huge emphasis on the Gators special teams unit. Just this week, Mullen awarded scholarships to two players (R.J. Raymond and Nick Villano) that are big influences on special teams. During training camp there has also been some debate on who will be the starting punter and kicker.

Mullen’s Thoughts

In a press conference Thursday, Mullen emphasized that the punt team is the most important, because only “the best of the best” will play there. Mullen also mentioned that there are benefits to being on the punt team.

Kicker, Jorge Powell also explained how there’s a big differences on special teams this year compared to pervious years.

Based on how much Mullen has highlighted the special teams, it’s safe to say Gators fans can expect a dominate unit.

Punting and Kicking

The punters in the running for the starting position are Tommy Townsend, Jon Gould, and Jacob Finn. If Tommy Townsend is to be named the starting punter he’ll have some big shoes to fill, since his old brother and former Gator kicker, Johnny Townsend, is now playing in the NFL. Townsend says that he believes the effort he’s put in to training camp has been enough to earn him the starting position. Though, there is still no official decision made.

Townsend says he was averaging about 44.8 yards a punt during training camp, but he believes he can improve.

Meanwhile, the starting kicker has yet to be named, it’s between 5th year senior Jorge Powell and freshman Evan McPherson. In training camp the kicking game has been pretty similar between the pair.

Being a 5th year senior does give Powell the experience advantage. Powell also mentioned that the competition has been good for the both of them.

Game Time

Check out the special teams unit on 9/1/18 as the Gators host Charleston Southern in the swamp at 7:30pm.

About Sarah Carlie Morton

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