UF adds another walk-on kicker

Kicker Jorge Powell made the AP Class 8A Florida All-State second team. (Photo by the Miami Herald)

Florida coach Will Muschamp has flipped yet another recruit.

His latest steal may not be a scholarship player, but it’s still an important addition to the roster.

Miami Belen Jesuit kicker Jorge Powell decided late Wednesday night to walk-on at UF instead of Penn State.

He first committed to Tulane back in August but reopened his recruitment two months ago. Powell then pledged to the Nittany Lions on Jan. 25 during his visit to Happy Valley.

“The opportunity at Penn State and Florida were very similar as far as competition and the number of kickers they have,” said Richard Stuart, Powell’s coach. “But being closer to home made it easier to go to Florida, and his father also graduated from UF.”

Powell is ranked the No. 11 kicker nationally by Kohls Kicking and has a five-star rating. Another recruiting service, Kornblue Kicking, ranks him as the nation’s second-best kicker.

Last season Powell made 12-of-15 field goal attempts and 25-of-27 extra point tries.

“His strength is his accuracy,” Stuart said. “He’s just automatic. He really is. The couple that he missed this year really weren’t his fault. They were in sloppy conditions. He hit a 54-yarder for us, which set a new school record.

“He’s also pretty consistent putting it in the end zone on kickoffs, although I think that’s something he could still work on. He’s very good at onside kicks, too.”

Powell will come to Florida as a preferred walk-on with the opportunity to earn scholarship, Stuart said. He will compete for the starting job with Austin Hardin and walk-ons Frankie Velez and Brooks Abbott, a former U.S. Army All-American who is transferring to UF this summer from Virginia Tech.

Hardin was the starter for the majority of last season but made just four of his 12 field goal attempts on the year.

“Jorge knows Austin from the kicking camp circuit,” Stuart said. “He feels like he just had an off year and has a lot of talent and a strong leg. So Jorge has got his work cut out for him, and he’s going to go in there and see where the chips fall.”

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  1. Heck yes! Competition breeds excellence. More competition the better! Especially if this kid is as good as he sounds. Automatic including from 50+? Sounds familiar. Hopefully we’ll get the same results. Go Gators!

  2. It’s very good news to have more competition. You should be able to get one reliable guy from the four, I would hope. Who was first team All-Dade? I wonder about rankining of kickers when Hardin was rated #1 and Aguayo was #3. It’s not hard to see that prognosis was wildly wrong. I don’t know what you do with kickers anyway as far as coaching, I remember a coach being asked about that, and he responded with something to the tune of”he’s a kicker..what am I supposed to do…He’ll (the kicker) figure it out on his own.”

  3. agreed rankings are shaky with our recent guys – Kyle
    Christy is mind boggling going from best punter in country to being in bench. Ironically Tulane had the best kicker inthe country this year- maybe they recruit that position better than UF

  4. This is the first I’ve heard of Brooks Abbott, Zach. Does he have to sit next year like most transfers, or does he have some kind of exemption? We need help there if Hardin keeps being a guy who’s great in practice, but can’t get it done when it counts.

  5. Good to see Powell come to UF and that he is not afraid of competition.

    But I don’t think any of our kickers had an “off-year” in l;ast season’s embarrassing debacle… as I predicted the day Jeff Choate was named special teams coach, this Gator special teams kicking squad went to pot. I called Choate to be a bust and it happened as he utterly ruined the confidence of our kickers, never adequately developing Austin Hardion and ruining the confidence and technique of our league-leading punter from the year before.

    But I don’t expect to have these problems this year with Hutzler as ST’s coach again because he’s a proven commodity.

  6. Muschamp flat out destroyed our kickers’ technique. Muschamp should have quit meddling on special teams. He ruined them and they will never recover with Muschamp as coach unless he leaves them alone. That goes for offense too, by the way.

  7. Shariff

    Where do you get your misinformation from? Exactly when was Muschamp teaching technique to kickers? You do realize Muschamp has been coach for 3 years and the kicking was very good the first two years dont you? For that matter, until last year, our special teams were good across the board. You should at least think about something for a minute or two before posting it.

  8. Yes Shariff it’s all muschamps fault. Even though the other 2 years with him as head coach (and Durkin as ST) our special teams has been among the elite of the country. Yeah it makes more sense to just blame muschamp then the guy who was actually new in that department when we randomly lost it. She. Come on man. Go back to your basketball blogs.

  9. @Jeff, Krysalka is still part of the team. it is very competitve to win the starting job, but no doubt he can handle it. i have followed him since high school and he has a powerful and accurate leg. It is sad he never gets mentioned! he will probably come out and surprise everyone this season.