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.”
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.”