St. Augustine kicker Caleb Sturgis arrived on the University of Florida campus Saturday morning. He competed in the 3A FHSAA State Championship Game on Friday afternoon. The Yellow Jackets finished as the runner-up after dropping a 17-10 decision to top ranked Naples.
Sturgis tripped to Florida with his mother, Karen. They met with the academics counselors upon their arrival. He said that he is still not certain about his major at this time. He is leaning toward Business Administration, Sports Management, or Journalism. He then met with Strength and Conditioning coach Mickey Marotti and a few doctors who spoke about the Gators nutrition program.
He also ran into a former arch-rival who will now be his teammate.
“I got to talk to Tim Tebow for about five minutes,” Sturgis said. “I was going into the training room and he was going in for a massage. We talked about the state championships. The coaches were teasing him about losing to St. Augustine. It was pretty funny. They were getting on him pretty good saying stuff about the game he didn’t score. He took it well. He congratulated me on our season and said that it seemed as though I’d been kicking for St. Augustine for nine years.”
Tim Tebow won’t be the only person ready to see Caleb Sturgis moving on to Florida. Spring practice should offer plenty of opportunities for Florida fans to see one of the strongest legs to grace the Orange and Blue. Sturgis hit a 51 yard field goal on Friday night in the Citrus Bowl that a few in the press box felt would have been good from 65-70 yards.
Sturgis enjoyed lunch with the coaches and made their way to the locker room where they put on jerseys with their high school number and name.
“That was just really neat,” he stated. “I was number twelve in high school. I know that I won’t wear that number here. I really don’t know what number I’ll wear here, but it’s just really neat to see your name on there and put that jersey on.”
He met with punter Chaz Henry for awhile and spent quite a bit of time with Gainesville High School defensive end and Florida commit Earl Okine and his family. An early enrollee, Sturgis will enroll for classes on Monday and has not determined who his roommate will be. He said there is a possibility that Earl Okine might be with him this semester since both are coming in early.
He, his mother, and the other recruits had dinner at Coach Urban Meyer’s house on Saturday night.
“We had steak,” he recalled. “There was a bunch of food. It was really good. Everything was really good. Chaz was there, so were the Pounceys. It was a lot of fun. I had a great time and so did my Mom. I think spending time in Coach Meyer’s office, watching me put on the jersey, and having dinner at the Meyer’s house was really special for my Mom.”
Sturgis has a busy slate over the next few weeks and this might be the last Christmas that he spends at home for several years. He will take a few days off to rest his legs after a long season before preparing for practice for the Under Armour All-American Bowl Game at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando on January 5th. Sturgis and his teammates will report in Orlando on December 31st. Many of those practice sessions will be televised on ESPN-U.
And while Caleb Sturgis’ days kicking for St. Augustine High School, the Sturgis name will perhaps carry on. His little brother Mark, a sophomore, will challenge for the now vacant starting kicking job next spring. Another Sturgis lining up for the Yellow Jackets is probably a bit unsettling for Tebow and his Nease Panthers.