If you watched at all last year, it’s clear that the Florida Gators haven’t quite recovered from losing all-star kicker Caleb Sturgis to the NFL. The Gators rotated kickers all season long, hoping at least one of them was a solution to the problem. One of the kickers in that rotation was redshirt freshman Austin Hardin. Much like others on the team, Hardin had his share of struggles last season.
Harding beat out senior Brad Phillips for the starting spot last offseason in camp. In the first three games, he was 3 for 5. After that, head coach Will Muschamp gave him a warning. The warning was that Hardin’s job was now in jeopardy. He would need to get it together, and fast. Though he undoubtedly wanted to keep his job, the next game was no better. Hardin was sent out to attempt a 53 yard field goal, which ended up being short and wide left. It wasn’t exactly what Muschamp was hoping would happen. After starting off 4-of-8 on field goal attempts, the job was no longer Hardin’s. However, things could be different for Hardin in 2014.
Hardin had a decent showing at the Orange and Blue Debut this Spring, connecting on all of his attempts. If he can regain his confidence, he will develop into the kicker they hoped he would be.