Over the next several weeks, Gator Country will talk with the members of the 2013 recruiting class. We’re asking each recruit 20 questions in an effort to let the fans get to know a little bit more about each player both on and off the field.
The first player we spoke with was Johnny Townsend, a punter from Boone high school in Orlando, Florida.
Townsend was a late addition to the recruiting class, choosing Florida over Ohio State and Alabama. Florida already has a Ray Guy Award finalist in Kyle Christy, but Townsend isn’t afraid of competition and he will bring his field-flipping 43.6-yard-per-kick average from high school to Gainesville.
Townsend has a long family history with the University of Florida. Both his mother, Susan, and Father, Clay Sr., attended the University and his older brother; Clay Jr. is currently a sophomore at Florida.
Q1: What was the craziest recruiting pitch you heard during your recruitment?
Johnny Townsend: Probably that Ohio doesn’t really have heavy winters, that they have really mild, warm winters. That one was pretty crazy.
Q2: What led you to end up at Florida over Alabama and Ohio State?
JT: It just felt right in my heart. My whole family basically went to Florida and my brother is up there now. I really like the idea of staying close to home for certain family issues and I just felt at peace with that program. I really love coach Muschamp and coach Durkin and the entire coaching staff. I felt really comfortable.
Q3: I know having to call Coach Meyer and Coach Saban to tell them you were going to Florida was probably your least favorite part of the recruiting process but what was your favorite part?
JT: Just knowing that I had it behind me. This entire process was the most stressful thing I’ve ever been through in my entire life. Just knowing that I signed and everything was behind me and set was probably the most relieving feeling.
Q4: Do you have any pre-game rituals?
JT: I always wear double socks and I wear the one on my right foot, the underneath one, inside out. It’s just a superstition that I’ve done for a while.
Q5: What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
JT: Probably getting all the opportunities that I’ve had. Hearing from and earning scholarships from the top-3 coaches in the entire country is truly an honor. Also being selected to go to the Army All-American Game was truly an honor.
Q6: Orange or Blue?
JT: Blue. I’ve worn orange and white and orange and blue my whole life. But primarily orange, because my little league baseball team wore orange, my pop-warner wore orange and my high school even wore orange. So I like seeing the blue a lot better, it’s just a change.
Q7: What number are you going to wear next year? Is there any significance in the number you wear?
JT: I really have no idea what number I’m going to be wearing next year. I’ve worn 11 the majority of my lifetime. There’s really no significance behind it. I’ve just always worn it so I would love to have it up there too.
Q8: What NFL player do you model your game after?
JT: I love to look at Thomas Morstead. I’ve met him several times throughout camps and he’s just a great guy. He hits absolute bombs. He’s just a great role model.
Q9: If you could date one celebrity who would it be and why?
JT: Oh gosh, that is really tough. I would probably have to say Lolo Jones. I’m attracted to a more athletic type.
Q10: Who are your favorite pro sports team? NFL? NBA? MLB?
JT: I don’t really follow it that much but if I had to say who my favorites were it would be the Saints. They’re a powerhouse football team and also because of Thomas Morstead. Pro baseball, I’d have to say the Boston Red Sox because my grandfather actually was drafted by them before he had to go off to the war.
Q11: Xbox or PlayStation?
JT: Probably PlayStation.
Q12: If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing that you would buy?
JT: I’d probably actually invest in something. I would say I’m more of a frugal type. I’m not one to go out and spend what I have. So I’d probably hang on to it and wait until I actually needed it for something rather than go out and blow it on something.
Q13: What’s on your IPod before a game?
JT: I usually listen to country the whole night before. Just to get my mind right and calm down. Then I usually listen to Lil Wayne or Chief Keef before the game to get hyped up.
Q14: Who is your favorite NFL player?
JT: Thomas Morstead.
Q15: LeBron or Kobe?
JT: I’d have to say Kobe.
Q16: Who is your favorite former Gator and why?
JT: It’s by far Tim Tebow. When you think of the Gators, you think of Tim Tebow. Growing up, I met him several times when I would go to bowl games to watch the Gators play and things like that. He’s a great role model and I definitely look up to him when it comes to religious beliefs and good works, things like that.
Q17: What sport would you play if you couldn’t play football?
JT: Probably baseball. I’m a catcher and outfielder.
Q18: What’s your favorite TV show?
JT: It’s probably typical but SportsCenter is probably one of my favorite shows to watch. I guess just channels, Comedy central. Tosh.0 especially.
Q19: What are your favorite sports and non-sports related movies?
JT: That’s tough. Sports movie, probably Rudy. That would probably be one of my favorite sports movies. For a non-sports movie, probably Step Brothers.
Q20: What is one thing about you that most Gator fans don’t know?
JT: That I’m an Eagle Scout.