It’s rare that a punter is good enough to go to the NFL at all, let alone have the opportunity to forgo his senior season and become an early-entrant. But that was the dilemma for Florida punter Johnny Townsend, who was probably good enough to leave early and have a shot at getting drafted. That NFL paycheck will have to wait another year, however, as Townsend took to Twitter Thursday night to announce his return for the 2017 season:
— Johnny Townsend (@johnnytownsend1) January 13, 2017
Though it’s not on the level of Georgia returning Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, Townsend’s presence is certainly a boon for the Gators. He was the SEC’s leader in punting yards per attempt, and he has a very good shot at being named the SEC’s first-team selection in the preseason. Townsend was the second team punter in 2016, behind Alabama’s JK Scott, also returning next year.