The Florida Gators’ special teams unit was arguably the nation’s best in 2012, which makes it no surprise that its two primary specialists were up for big honors on Thursday evening at the 2012 Home Depot College Football Awards held in Orlando, FL.
Despite redshirt senior kicker Caleb Sturgis and sophomore punter Kyle Christy being named as finalists for the 2012 Lou Groza Award and 2012 Ray Guy Award, respectively, neither brought home the honor this year.
Tulane’s Cairo Santos beat out Sturgis for the Lou Groza Award after becoming just the second player in NCAA history to not miss a field goal over the course of a season (21-of-21). Sturgis finished 23-of-27 (three of his four misses were blocked) with three field goals in the 50-yard range. Florida State’s Dustin Hopkins, the third finalist, was 24-of-28 with five 50+ yarders.
Judd Davis (1993) remains the only Florida player in the 21-year history of the Lou Groza Award to bring it home to Gainesville, FL.
Louisiana Tech’s Ryan Allen won his second-straight Ray Guy Award, becoming the first-ever back-to-back winner, after averaging 48.0 yards per attempt with a long of 85 yards and besting his 2011 numbers by 1.9 yards and 13 yards, respectively. Christy averaged 46.1 yards with a long of 62 yards and fellow finalist Scott Kovanda of Ball State averaged just 40.2 yards with a long of 56 yards.
Chas Henry (2010) is the only Gators punter to win the Ray Guy Award, which has been handed out for the last 13 years.
Sturgis added 2012 SEC Co-Special Teams Player of the Year honors on Wednesday and also made team history this year. He set the school record for made field goals in a career with 69, passing Jeff Chandler’s 67, and tied Bobby Raymond for the school’s single-season made field goal record (23).