« Football 2017

Johnny Townsend

Master of Science in Management
Johnny Townsend


Johnny Townsend not only excels on the field, but also in the classroom. He earned his bachelor’s degree in telecommunication in May of 2017 with a 3.21 GPA. He is currently studying to earn a Master of Science in Management degree while also playing for a top-25 football team. He has earned three SEC Academic Honor Roll distinctions, as well being selected to the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll in 2013. Townsend is Florida’s nomination for the NFF Scholar-Athlete Award.


Townsend is able to face adversity and bounce back from it, as he has shown during his career at Florida. He came in as a freshman and won the starting punting roll. The previous starter was averaging 45.8 yards per punt and totaled 3,023 yards during the 2012 season. Townsend had a solid freshman campaign, but was beat out by the original punter for the starting spot in 2014. He did not hang his head, but redshirted and worked hard to come back in 2015 even stronger than before. He accomplished just that by becoming one of three finalists for the Ray Guy Award. He proves his character is strong through his resiliency and ambition to better himself and those around him.


Townsend, though incredibly busy with being a student-athlete, always makes time to help his community. Over the course of his career, he has worked with 10 different community service organizations including the Boys and Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity and UF Shands Cancer Hospital. He is always trying to make the lives of those around him better, even if it is just with a small gesture. This past June, he spent 50 hours volunteering at the Kohl’s Kicking Camp, teaching the youth in the community not only football, but also leadership and discipline. He also has multiple hours with the Boy Scouts of America, where he holds the honor of Eagle Scout. He began in Kindergarten with Cub Scouts and earned his way to Eagle Scout in high school. Townsend has also volunteered at Hidden Oak and attended school visits, reading to the local kids. Additionally, Townsend has founded the Johnny Townsend Fund benefitting the greatest needs in the pediatric oncology infusion clinic at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital.


Currently, Townsend leads all FBS punters with a 54.67 average in 2017. He was named to the 2017 preseason Ray Guy Award Watch List, an award for which he has finished in the top ten the last two seasons. In 2016, he earned first-team All-America honors from CBS Sports and took home second-team All-America accolades from Fox Sports. He was named first-team All-SEC by ESPN and Gridiron Now and earned second-team All-SEC honors from three different outlets. During the 2016 season, he ranked first in the nation in yards per punt, averaging 47.9 yards.

He took home similar honors in 2015, earning first-team All-SEC honors by ESPN and Gridiron Now, while taking home second-team All-SEC honors from Coaches, AP and Athlon Sports. In the 2015 season, he finished third in the nation and first in the SEC with 45.4 yards per punt. Entering his senior season, he sits atop Florida’s record list with 45.7-yard career punting average. He holds five of the top 12 spots in Florida history for the longest average punts in a single game (min. seven attempts).