The Virginia football team added a special teams standout Monday. Jacob Finn, a graduate transfer punter from Florida, announced on Instagram that he’ll join the Cavaliers for his final collegiate season.
Finn brings a powerful leg with him to Charlottesville. He punted 26 times for Florida last season, averaging an impressive 46.3 yards per punt. Of his 26 punts, 14 were downed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. Only one of his kicks resulted in a touchback.
The 6-foot-4 Florida native hit six punts that went over 50 yards last fall, and 12 of his punts resulted in fair catches from the returner. He blasted a career-long 67-yard punt in a game against LSU in December.
As a team, Florida ranked third among FBS teams in net punting average. Finn was the team’s starting punter, playing in all 12 games for the Gators. UVa, on the other hand, checked in at No. 80 in net punting average.
The addition of Finn creates increased competition at punter. Prior to Finn’s announcement, sophomore Brendan Farrell seemed like the clear frontrunner to earn the starting punting job. While he hasn’t appeared in any games, Farrell spent both the 2019 and 2020 seasons with UVa’s program.
“Brendan is doing a really good job punting the ball and good hang time, good distance, we just gotta get him more consistent,” special teams coach Ricky Brumfield said last week.
Brumfield said he didn’t have much anxiety about the team’s kickers, even with veterans like kicker Brian Delaney and punter Nash Griffin graduated. He did admit, however, that there’s no substitute for game experience.
Finn has that.
“Some of them look good right now during practices and during scrimmages, but you know we just got to see when the game time comes,” Brumfield said.