Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Improbable punter Kyle Christy puts Florida Gators in good position

GAINESVILLE — The way Kyle Christy recalls it, there was never really a request, more like a statement of fact. The punter at Brownsburg (Ind.) High was graduating and the Bulldogs desperately needed a replacement.

Coach Brett Comer decided Christy was his guy.

He had never punted in his life, but Christy was a football player who had also played soccer. And, frankly, he was the best option at the time.

"After my sophomore year he told me, 'We're going to need you to punt next year,' " Christy said. "So I worked with a lot of coaches (during the summer) and watched a lot of film. And I taught myself how to punt."

Four years later, Christy, now Florida's punter, has transformed into one of the nation's best.

The sophomore leads the SEC with a 46.5-yard average on 24 punts for 1,115 yards. Nine of his punts have been more than 50 yards. He ranks fifth in the nation.

"He's had a tremendous impact on our football team," Gators coach Will Muschamp said. "When we went to Tennessee, early in the game we get pinned back inside our 5-yard line and he punts it all the way back to their 30. His leg and him being able to flip the field and control the vertical field position has been critical to our success this season and why we are where we are. He is an outstanding punter."

Though he was ranked the No. 2 punter in the nation by coming out of high school, Christy's college options were limited. He attended numerous camps, hoping to showcase his talent to coaches. In the end, his only offers were from Florida and LSU.

"LSU offered me at the beginning of the summer, and Florida's camp wasn't until the end of the summer," Christy said. "So after I got the LSU offer, I kind of crossed off a bunch of camps that I was planning on going to. I showed up here, did really well. And Urban (Meyer) was still here, and he offered me (a scholarship) about a week later."

Against LSU last week, Christy pinned the Tigers inside their 10-yard line on three of his four punts in the first half, including a season-long 61 yarder. He also has punts of 51, 53 and 57 yards. He is making life easier for the entire team.

"I think he's done a terrific job," defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said. "Anytime you can change field position like he can with the big hit like he's had at times this year, especially when you're backed up, I think those are the (best) punts he's had. … He has been a valuable performer for us."

"I know he's in the back of our mind," offensive coordinator Brent Pease added. "Sometimes, like (against LSU), when it's third and 17, I said, 'Hey, let's get 5 to 8 yards and let him flip the field. He's a weapon."

Christy's success hasn't come overnight. He didn't earn the starting job until five games into the 2011 season. He's on his third long snapper. And he spent countless hours in the offseason perfecting his technique.

"I kind of struggled with operation time last year," he said. "I was a little slow with my hands. Coach (D.J.) Durkin (special teams) and Coach Muschamp were always getting on me about it and during the offseason I worked a lot on that. I changed my drop a little bit, and I also just caught a bunch of snaps, and using the Jugs Machine I worked on catching balls over and over and over, getting my drop right."

With quarterback Jeff Driskel as his roommate, Christy is acutely aware of the attention offensive stars garner. Sheepishly, he admits he's enjoying his now.

"It's kind of cool to get that recognition," he said. "I like when I get a lot of the credit, and it feels good to help the team out."

Antonya English can be reached at

Improbable punter Kyle Christy puts Florida Gators in good position 10/12/12 [Last modified: Friday, October 12, 2012 10:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Sunday Morning Quarterback, Week 5


    Team of the Week | Armwood

    Armwood High School defensive end and outside linebacker Fitzroy Gardner during the first half of the Armwood at Jefferson football game in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, September 22, 2017.
  2. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31


    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  3. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win


    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi admitted he probably should have gone on the DL sooner than late July for the back stiffness that was keeping him from throwing the ball where he wanted to. He has since found an impressive groove, with another strong outing Saturday.

  5. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-N.C. State


    RB Cam Akers still looks like a former high school quarterback at times. His first two touches (30 yards) were special, but the freshman juked instead of powering ahead on his third (an unsuccessful third-and-1 rush). That's why the Seminoles are easing him in, as they did with Dalvin Cook three years ago.

    Running back Cam Akers carries for a first down during the third quarter as FSU eases the freshman into the college game.