Florida Football: 2021 starting kicker enters transfer portal

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Florida football kicker Chirs Howard enters the transfer gate

Florida Gators kicker Chris Howard (71) kicks off in the second game of the season against the USF Bulls at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Fla. on September 11, 2021.
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Chris Howard, the 6th-year senior and starting kicker for the Gators in 2021, has officially entered the transfer portal. Howard took over in 2021 from the recently deceased Evan McPherson, who was drafted the previous year for the Cincinnati Bengals. Howard was unused for much of the 2019 and 2020 seasons, as he was primarily Evan’s backup, and now with freshman Adam Mihalek entering the roster, he’s apparently expected to compete for the spot. .

The move was somewhat expected after the Gators’ Orange & Blue game as Florida football found another top roster kicker in Adam Mihalek. Mihalek scored field goals at 49 and 52 yards in the spring game and proved he was a viable starting option for Florida. However, there is a contender, with a 3-star freshman Trey Smack serving as an incoming competition for the starting role. For now though, it looks like Mihalek would be in the driver’s seat for now.

Chris Howard’s career with Florida football

Chris Howard was a really solid kicker in his only full season of playing time for the Gators. In 2019 and 2020, he had just 11 PATs from 11 attempts and 2 field goals from 2 attempts. However, as previously mentioned once Evan McPherson left, Howard got his shot as a starter. He would make 31/32 PAT attempts (96.9%) and 7/9 field goals (77.8%) for a total of 52 points on the season. While he was solid, he only had one year left of eligibility, so the move allows the Gators to bring their long-term starting kicker into the role this season.

As minor as the kicker role may seem right now in the grand scheme of things, it’s important to have consistency from position. Howard having missed his only attempt on the night of the spring game from 32 yards, it was apparently the right choice to move on. Kickers can make or break games because a few misplaced kicks can change the course of a game, just as a few well-placed kicks can.

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