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October 16, 2007

Sturgis having a big senior season

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After starting out his senior season on a less then stellar note, St. Augustine (Fla.) kicker Caleb Sturgis is on a hot streak. Two weeks ago he was named the offensive player of the week in the Jacksonville area by the Florida Times Union after booting field goals of 32, 37 and 50 yards. Then this past Friday night he connected on three more bombs as his Yellow Jackets lost a heart breaker to rival Ponte Vedra Beach (Fla.) Nease.

With six field goals in the last two games, it has been a busy couple of weeks for the senior kicker.

"It's been a lot of fun. When I first started kicking I never thought I would get to see as much action as I have," said Sturgis. "Before that kickers were getting seven or maybe eight attempts a year."

Friday against Nease he hit field goals from 40, 42 and 46 yards to go 9 for 11 on the year - rebounding from a slow start.

"I've hit 8 in a row now," said Sturgis before explaining why he was only 1 for his first 3.

"Our long snapper and holder are sophomores. They were a little nervous at the beginning of the season, but we are all comfortable with each other now."

He's also a perfect 23-for-23 on extra points and nearly as perfect on kickoffs, putting 45 of 47 in the end zone.

More so than most positions, how a kicker will do on the next level is one of the hardest things to project in recruiting. On the high school level he is able to use a one-inch tee, which allows him to get more height on his kicks.

For his part, Sturgis believes he has shown that he can be successful without the tee.

"All summer I kicked without a tee. I kicked for coach (Urban) Meyer at Florida's camp and at the Georgia Tech camp without one and I did fine. My distances are about the same. The only real difference is that you don't get as much height on the ball. For me, we use it more as a spot where the holder knows where to put the ball."

As for the two game losing streak suffered by the Florida Gators, the two-star kicker says he doesn't see that as a problem - at least not as far as his commitment is concerned.

"If they would have made a play or two in each game they would have won. It doesn't change anything about the way I feel about Florida. I'm still going to be a Gator."


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