Jim McElwain on walk-on kicker tryouts: 'As long as they can flip it up there through the uprights, I'm good with it'
Florida's call-out for any and all walk-on kicker candidates drew 216 applicants, and the Gators hope to have worked through that situation by the end of the week, coach Jim McElwain said.
"As long as they can flip it up there through the uprights, I'm good with it," McElwain said during Wednesday's SEC coaches' teleconference.
UF is desperate for help as its top two kickers have been unable to stay healthy. Walk-on Jorge Powell left Saturday's loss at LSU with an apparent knee injury that left Powell "done," McElwain said.
"I just feel horrible for Jorge," McElwain said. "He was doing a great job for us."
The Gators' incumbent starter, Austin Hardin, was ESPN's top kicker prospect out of high school but has missed his last three attempts. He missed three games with a leg injury and filled in for Powell on Saturday.
McElwain said UF will have to find out whether he can play next week against Georgia, after UF's bye week.
"I would hope he could help this football team and come out and kick," McElwain said. "He did in the last game. He kicked some pretty good ones. I'm expecting him to be there. At the same time, you've got to have plans. That's what we're doing."
For what it's worth, McElwain said he did something similar at Colorado State, where a walk-on made some big kicks for the Rams. McElwain said he called that player, "Kicker."