According to the Daytona Beach News Journal, Matanzas HS (Palm Beach, FL) Kicker Christian Benvenuto has verbally committed to the Panthers. Rivals.com lists him as their #14 kicker in the country. Georgia State was his only confirmed scholarship offer with Auburn and Florida known to have invited him as a preferred walk-on. Benvenuto is now the 6th commitment of the 2011 recruiting cycle and 3rd HS prospect to commit publically to the 2nd year program.
Christian took part in University of Florida’s Friday Night Lights last August with big names like RB James Wilder, Jr. (Florida State), QB Philip Ely (Alabama), TE Nick O’Leary and other big names in the state of Florida.
The most amazing thing? He can kick with both feet!
“I punt with my left foot, I’ll roll out and hit the middle of the ball, and it takes off, whichever way it wants to,” the 17-year-old said. “If I kick with my right foot, I can hit it longer. When I punt with my left foot, it probably goes 20 yards in the air. Once it hits, it takes off and goes.”
This was a major need for the Panthers as they did not return a scholarship kicker after 3rd Team All-American Iain Vance will graduate this spring.
In 2009, Georgia State signed Patrick Baker out of Vero Beach, FL and several recruiting sites rated him the #66 Kicker in Country. Baker was booted before Fall practice for violation of team rules.