While Florida is still in search of suitable replacements for three departed all-Americans (Caleb Sturgis, Matt Elam and Shariff Floyd), one such player the Gators still have in the fold is junior punter Kyle Christy.
Unfortunately for UF however, the Ray Guy Award finalist hasn’t participated in any of Florida’s spring practice sessions due to a torn labrum he sustained before his all-American season.
Although Christy is fully able to punt the football — something he did at a 45.8-yard clip last season — he is still unable to perform one basic function.
“I’m not allowed to catch snaps yet,” Christy said.
Christy says he still has another month before he’ll be fully cleared to go, but he’ll still enjoy plenty of time during the summer to get ready for the season. It was last summer when Christy endured his injury away from the football field, an incident he simply described as “embarrassing.”
“I fell off my scooter,” Christy said when asked how the injury occurred.
“I was hoping you wouldn’t ask that.”
With UF experiencing turnover at a number of spots on its roster, having a proven and stable force like Christy is undoubtedly a boost to the team. After a freshman season that could best be described as average, Christy exploded in his second year on campus.
Christy finished the season ranked fifth in the nation in punting average, good enough for tops in the SEC. In 10 of Florida’s 13 games, Christy saw his punts go for 50 yards or more, including a 62-yard bomb against South Carolina which helped garner him the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Florida’s special teams helped keep the Gators afloat at times last season. Although Christy is still on the roster, the Indiana native admitted the loss of Sturgis is one the team is still coping with.
“I’m not going to lie, we’re missing Sturgis right now,” Christy said. “(The kickers are) trying as hard as they can and I see them work every day. They’re trying to get better every day, but obviously they’re just struggling a little bit right now. But I think they’ll get out of it by the time the season starts and they’ll be ready to go.”
As for his own prospects for the season, Christy believes that once he’s able to resume his regular routine, he’ll be able get back in the swing of things.
“Coming off the surgery or whatever I just want to get back to where I was and try to just become more consistent,” Christy said.
“As soon as I’m able to do that, I’ll have to get a bunch of reps out there and just make sure my operation’s down.”