Both Gators Kickers Named to Pre-Season Watch Lists

Evan McPherson was named to the Lou Groza Award Watch List on Wednesday afternoon. The Lou Groza Award is annually presented to the nation’s top place-kicker, as McPherson is one of the 30 best returning kickers in the country named to the list.

McPherson was also recently named to the Preseason All-SEC list, receiving third-team recognition.

McPherson went 17-for-19 (89.5%) on field goals and ranked tied for sixth nationally and led all freshmen in field goal percentage in 2018. Among kickers with at least 15 attempts, he ranked tied for fifth nationally and went a perfect 3-for-4 on kicks 40 yards or longer and a perfect 11-for-11 on kicks between 20 and 29 yards. McPherson was the Gators’ primary kickoff specialist, netting 64.1 yards per kickoff and had a touchback percentage of 55%, while leading the Gators in scoring with 101 points. One of the 20 Lou Groza Award semifinalists, the Fort Payne, Ala. native was also named a True Freshman All-American by 247Sports.

Punter Tommy Townsend was named to the Ray Guy Award Watch List, as announced by the Augusta Sports Council on Wednesday. The Ray Guy Award is annually presented to the college punter of the year, as Townsend is one of 26 candidates on this year’s list after being a semifinalist for the award in 2018.

Townsend finished the 2018 season averaging 45.4 yards per punt, as he totaled 2,315 yards on 51 punts, while booting 14 punts of over 50 yards and 24 punts inside of the 20-yard line. Against LSU, the Orlando, Fla. native recorded a career-long 71-yard punt, which was the seventh-longest punt in Florida football history. Additionally, the redshirt senior recorded an 18-yard gain on a fake punt in Florida’s comeback win over Vanderbilt. Townsend was named Second Team All-SEC by Athlon Sports and was also named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2018.

Among the statistics used to identify the winner is net punting average, number of times punt is downed or kicked out of bounds inside the opponents 20-yard line, total yardage punted, average returned yardage and percentage of punts not returned with particular emphasis placed on net punting average.