Since Muschamp took over as head coach of the team, Sturgis has been spectacular, hitting 46 of 54 field goals (85.1%) with a long of 55 yards. Three of the four kicks he missed in 2012 were blocked.
"We're still trying to find another year of eligibility for him," Muschamp quipped after it was announced that Sturgis had accepted an invitation to play at the East-West Shrine Game.
The soccer-style kicker signed with Florida as a highly regarded prep prospect. He served as the team's kickoff specialist as a true freshman in 2008, averaging 63.7 yards an attempt. He was good -- not great -- as a field goal kicker a year later, hitting 22 of 30 fields (including a career-long of 56 yards) for a 73.3% completion rate. Sturgis struggled early in 2010, missing two of the first four field goals he attempted before suffering a back injury which sidelined him for the final nine games of the season.
Since his return to the field for Muschamp and the Gators in 2011, however, he's been arguably the top kicker in the country. Considering the success of East-West Shrine kickers in the NFL a year ago -- including standout rookies Greg Zuerlein (St. Louis Rams) and Blair Walsh (Minnesota Vikings) -- Sturgis' path to the NFL appears as straight and narrow as one of his kicks.
WEAKNESSES: Though poor protection certainly contributed to three blocked kicks in 2012, Sturgis needs to do a better job of driving the ball upward, kicking the ball at a lower trajectory than preferred. Lacks the size scouts would prefer at the position, though he's shown toughness as a defender when serving as the last line of defense on kick returns, recording six solo tackles. Teams will want their medical staffs to check out his back at the Combine.
Compares to: David Akers, K, San Francisco 49ers