Duo for Florida Football earns preseason All-American honors

Punter Jeremy Crawshaw and long snapper Rocco Underwood have earned Preseason All-American honors.
Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun / USA

As the college football season draws near, two Florida Gators special teams unit members have been recognized for their exceptional play with preseason All-American accolades from respected analyst Phil Steele.

Senior punter Jeremy Crawshaw earned a spot on the fourth team, while redshirt junior long snapper Rocco Underwood was named to the third team, highlighting the Gators' strength in the often-overlooked third phase of the game.

Crawshaw's inclusion comes on the heels of a standout junior campaign that saw him set the Gators' single-season record for net punting average at an impressive 48.9 yards on 42 punts. His leg produced seven punts of 60 yards or more, 21 punts of 50-plus yards, and 15 kicks downed inside the opponent's 20-yard line, with a long punt of 68 yards.

This consistent excellence earned Crawshaw a place on the Associated Press All-SEC Second Team and built upon his previous accolades as a 2021 SEC All-Freshman Team selection. That season, the Australian native ranked third in the SEC with an average of 44.02 yards per punt and tallied 18 punts of 50-plus yards, three of 61-plus yards, and 19 punts downed inside the 20.

Underwood, meanwhile, has been a steadying force as the Gators' primary long snapper, appearing in every game last season and recording one tackle. His contributions were recognized with Florida's "Unsung Hero Award" at the end-of-season banquet.

Both specialists will have the benefit of working under new special teams coordinator Joe Houston this year. Houston arrives in Gainesville after a four-year stint with the New England Patriots, bringing an NFL pedigree to the Gators' third phase.

"Joe Houston has done a good job from a situational football standpoint. He's brought a lot to the table," said head coach Billy Napier of his new hire during spring practice.

With Crawshaw's booming leg and Underwood's reliable snapping, complemented by Houston's professional experience, the Gators' special teams unit could prove a pivotal factor in the team's success this fall.