Monday, November 17, 2014

Top 5 Kickers in Gator Football History

As the November 15th game against South Carolina showed, special teams plays a huge role in football. I conclude my offensive portion of my Top 5 series with my five best kickers in Gator football history. Without further adieu, here they are!

#5 Kyle Christy (2011-2014)

I start my list with current Gator Kyle Christy. In his senior year now, Christy is the only punter on this list. Honestly, I could not find a fifth kicker so I figured that Christy would suffice. Through three years and nine games this year (the South Carolina stats have not translated to sports-reference yet), Christy has 166 career punts for 7,236 total yards. He has an average of 43.6 yards per punt.

Some of Christy's accolades include:
  • First-team All-American in 2012
  • First-team All-SEC in 2012
  • My personal recognition as the most consistent player on the 2014 Gator football team
Kyle Christy is a frontrunner for the Ray Guy Award despite having his punt blocked late in the game on Saturday. He has been clutch all year in flipping field position and should be a solid punter for some lucky team in the NFL. We will miss you dearly, Kyle.

#4 Jeff Chandler (1997-2001)

Now we get into the place kickers. Jeff Chandler played for the Gators at the end of the Steve Spurrier Era and was a part of two Orange Bowl victories in his sophomore and senior campaigns. He finished his career with 67 field goals made in 80 attempts and an 83.8 field goal percentage. He made 167 extra points in 180 attempts for a 92.8 extra point percentage. He is responsible for 367 points, the most on this list.

In addition to winning two Orange Bowls, Chandler's other recognitions include:
  • First-team All-SEC in 1999 and 2001
  • Second-team All-American in 1999
  • SEC Champion in 2000
Chandler was drafted 102nd overall in the fourth round of the 2002 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. His NFL career was a short one as he bounced around between six different teams. He decided to hang up the spikes in 2006.

#3 Caleb Sturgis (2008-2012)

A member of the 2008 National Championship team as a true freshman, Sturgis handled kickoff duties in the National Championship Game and developed into quite the kicker by his senior year.

By the time he graduated, Sturgis had nailed 70 field goals in 88 attempts for a 79.5 field goal percentage. He converted 130 of his 136 extra point attempts for a 95.6 extra point percentage. He has accounted for 338 total points.

He is a very decorated kicker and some of his awards include:
  • SEC Champion in 2008
  • Sugar Bowl Champion in 2009
  • First-team All-SEC in 2011 and 2012
  • First-team All-American in 2012
  • SEC Special Teams Player of the Year in 2012
Sturgis entered the 2013 NFL Draft after his senior year and was selected 166th overall in the 5th round by the Miami Dolphins. Sturgis is still with the Dolphins and is also a solid kicker for my fantasy team this year. Up to this point in his NFL career, he has hit 45 of his 57 attempts for a 78.8 field goal percentage. His longest kick is 54 yards.

#2 Jonathan Phillips (2005-2009)

Jonathan Phillips experienced all but one year of the Urban Meyer Era and has two National Championships and a Sugar Bowl title to his name. He played a big role in the 2008 National Championship as he converted all three of his extra points and nailed his lone field goal attempt from 27 yards out.

Phillips really only kicked during the 2008 season, so his stats are the fewest on this list. He nailed 12 field goals in 14 attempts for a 85.7 field goal percentage. He made 97 extra points in 101 attempts for a 96 extra point percentage. He scored a total of 128 points.

Philips was very academically oriented as his accolades below include:
  • SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll in 2005, 2006, and 2009
  • Academic All-SEC in 2006 and 2007
  • SEC Champion in 2006 and 2008
  • Semifinalist for Lou Groza Award in 2008
Phillips did not pursue an NFL career after graduating from UF, but his contribution to the 2008 title run will never be forgotten by Gator fans.

#1 Judd Davis (1992-1994)

At No. 1 is Judd Davis. A walk-on player originally, Davis is the only Gator kicker to win a Lou Groza Award (the award given to the best kicker in the country). He won the award as a junior in 1993. On top of winning the Lou Groza Award, Davis was a part of Gator teams that won the Gator Bowl in 1992 and the Sugar Bowl in 1993.

In his three years as a Gator, Judd made 32 field goals in 39 attempts for an 82.1 field goal percentage. He has the fewest missed extra points on this list with just two. He made 129 extra points in 131 attempts for a 98.5 extra point percentage. He totaled 225 points.

The Lou Groza aside, Davis has some other accolades to his name. They include:
  • First-team All-American in 1993
  • First-team All-SEC in 1994
  • SEC Champion in 1993 & 1994
  • UF Hall of Fame inductee in 2011
Similar to Phillips, Davis did not pursue an NFL career after graduation. However, he will always be remembered as the only Lou Groza Award winner in Florida's history, and that is no small feat by any means.

Honorable Mention:
Chas Henry (2007-2010)

I hope you enjoyed this Top 5 List! I'll now be switching gears as I rank the best defensive players to ever play at the University of Florida. I will start with the Top 5 Defensive Linemen in next week's article. Until then, stay tuned for my articles covering the Gator basketball games against Miami tonight and Louisiana-Monroe on November 21st!

*All stats accredited to, College Football @, Pro,, &

*All pictures accredited to,,,, &

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.