Placekickers never get much love in the NFL draft and often catch on with teams as free agents.
But Gators record-setter Caleb Sturgis was too good to pass up for the Miami Dolphins who selected him with the 166th pick (5th round) on Saturday.
Strugis was the first placekicker selected this year. He also becomes the first Gators kicker drafted since Jeff Chandler in 2002.
Sturgis left Florida with the school-record for field goals in a season (24, 2013) and a career (67). He also kicked more field goals (eight) of 50 yards on longer than any Gator.
Sturgis will be given a chance to unseat former Pro Bowl kicker Dan Carpenter, who is 127 of 155 (81.9 percent) in five seasons. Carpenter missed 11 field goals in 2010 and five each in 2011 and 2012 after he missed just seven total in his first two seasons.
"We're not giving the job to Caleb or Dan," Miami general manager Jeff Ireland said.
Sturgis, a native of St. Augustine, is just excited for the chance.
"I couldn’t be more excited about staying in the state of Florida," Sturgis said on the team's Web site. "My little brother’s with me (and) he’s a huge Dolphins fan. This was awesome.
"I’ve seen Dan kick and he’s got an unbelievable leg. He’s an unbelievable kicker and I just can’t wait to get in and compete against him. I’m so thankful for the opportunity more than anything."