Nov 23, 2013; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators kicker Francisco Velez (95) kicks a field goal during the first quarter against the Georgia Southern Eagles at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

100 Days of Florida Football: No. 43 Kyle Crofoot

If it seems like the Crofoot name has been around the Florida football program for a while now, that’s because it has. The Crofoot family has had a presence in the SEC for the past 13 years. That won’t change this season because Florida has  long snapper/place holder Kyle Crofoot, number 43 on our countdown.

Kyle Crofoot is the last in a long line of successful long snappers in the family. His father, Kroy Crofoot, decided it would be in his boys best interest to train them to become long snappers. He got the idea when he was golfing with then-Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz. Since then, he’s churned out five of his own sons, as well as a cousin and a teammate, Mike Williamson at UF (2005-2009), to SEC schools. In fact, he’s been such an instrumental part of The First Academy in Orlando’s football program that the school decided to name their turf “Kroy Crofoot Field”.

It all started with his first son, Charles Crofoot, who started at Auburn between 2003-2005. It continued when Ike Crofoot played four years at South Carolina between 2003-2006, including two years for his father’s old friend Holtz. Butch Rowley, the Crofoot’s cousin, decided to play for Urban Meyer at Utah in 2004 before transferring to Florida with Meyer to play out his final three years of eligibility. Clayton Crofoot played his junior and season years (2008-2009) for the Auburn Tigers. The Gators once again had a member of the clan, this time it was John Crofoot who played from 2010-2012. Which brings us to today where redshirt junior Kyle keeps the tradition strong.

Johnnie and Kyle’s time at UF actually overlapped. Johnnie was the place holder for the Gators in 2012 and received the snap from Kyle. It was the beginning of a career for Kyle that has seen 25 appearances in two seasons. During that freshman season, Kyle served as the primary long snapper for all the Gators field goal tries. Last season, Crofoot made the switch to place holder where he served as the primary holder for all field goal attempts and PATs. This season, he’ll continue to catch long snapper Drew Ferris‘ snaps as he does his part to ensure the success of the field goal unit.

At 6-4, 214 pounds, Kyle is the biggest of the Crofoot clan. In high school, he played both offensive and defensive tackle for the Royals while he worked on his long snapping and place holding abilities. He drew interest from Division I schools, including Kansas, Auburn, and South Carolina. When he narrowed down his choices to the three SEC schools, which were three schools his brothers had chosen (Florida, Auburn, and South Carolina), Kyle decided that playing with his brother was the best course of action (h/t Orlando Sentinel).

“Last Wednesday, up until then, I pretty much thought it was going to be Auburn,” Crofoot said. “But while I was on the plane going to South Carolina, for some reason I thought to myself, ‘Why would I not go to Florida?’ … There was the attraction of (brother) Johnnie being there, it’s close to home and my family wouldn’t have to split up every weekend and decide who was going to go to Johnnie’s game and who was going to my game. Everybody could be all together.”

So when he landed in South Carolina, he still had an open mind, but the plane ride had given him some time for perspective.

“I wasn’t sold on Florida at that point.” Crofoot said. “I was really excited to go up and see what South Carolina had to say. I liked it, but figured it wasn’t the best place for me.”

We’re glad Kyle decided to don the number 43 in the Orange and Blue and continue the long line of Crofoot long snapping and place holding success. He has two more years of eligibility and I for one am looking forward to seeing those count. He may face an uphill battle to help contribute what his cousin Rowley did with Florida by winning two national titles, but there’s still time to do it. Place holding is one of the more underappreciated disciplines in football as you can see from the above video, but that doesn’t diminish the importance of it and Crofoot. Even though Kyle’s the last of the Crofoots, he just might turn out to be the best.

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Tags: Butch Rowley Florida Gators Football John Crofoot Kyle Crofoot Mike Williamson SEC Urban Meyer

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