Remember 11 days ago, when Florida held open tryouts among the student body for a backup placekicker? The Gators have their man -- and he's every bit the everyman you'd have expected from that kind of tryout.
Florida unveiled 21-year-old Neil MacInnes with a profile at the official Gators' site Friday, describing him as "a senior studying to be a dental ceramist" at the university ... until he also became the No. 11 team in the country's No. 2 placekicker. MacInnes has traveled with the team to Jacksonville for this Saturday's showdown with arch-rivals Georgia (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS).
“It’s pretty much a dream come true," MacInnes said. “I wanted to kick in high school and obviously being part of this organization, and Gator Nation, is kind of cool.”
MacInnes was one of 216 students to try out following Florida's backup kicker Jorge Powell suffering a season-ending leg injury vs. LSU. MacInnes kicked for Tampa's Chamberlain High School during his junior and senior seasons, having already starred for the school's track and soccer teams. He appeared in a 2011 area all-star game at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium, hitting both a 48 and 43-yarder -- his most recent kicks in actual competition.
Obviously Jim McElwain and Co. will hope starter Austin Hardin remains healthy and MacInnes remains a last-resort option. But his story is already a remarkable one -- and if he makes an appearance Saturday for whatever reason, it'll only be that much more remarkable.