For the second time in less than full two months, the Florida Gators have added a well-regarded kicker by offering him a preferred walk-on spot, according to multiple reports, with Jorge Powell (Miami, LF) committing to play in Gainesville, FL.
Originally committed to Penn State, Powell had a change of heart and has decided to stay in-state. His about-face was first reported by BlueWhiteOnline.com‘s Tim Owen.
The Gators’ kicking game was awful in 2013 with Florida finishing the season tied for 116th nationally with its kickers connecting on just 12-of-22 attempts (.545).
Redshirt sophomore kicker Austin Hardin won the starting job out of fall camp but was so inconsistent that coaches could not trust him to keep the position. Brad Phillips and redshirt senior walk-on Frankie Velez both kicked at points in 2013.
Hardin and Velez will now be tested both by Powell and junior Brooks Abbott, a two-year Virginia Tech player who decided on Dec. 18, 2013 to transfer to Florida.
Powell went 12-for-15 on field goals and 25-for-27 on extra points during his senior season of high school, according to the Miami Herald’s Safid Deen. Abbot served as a kickoff specialist at VT in 2012 and did not play in 2013 but connected on 11-of-15 field goals during his final year of high school.
According to KornblueKicking.com, Powell is the second-ranked incoming freshman kicker and is talented enough to start as a freshman for a FBS program.