Ely-Kelso has solid start

Posted Sep 22, 2004

ATHENS – Georgia has always been known as a good punting school. The only exception to that perhaps came in the late 1990s when Wynn Kopp was punting for the Dawgs.

Kopp was inconsistent. He was soon replaced by Jonathon Kilgo, and the Georgia punting tradition continued. But it appeared Georgia was heading down the same inconsistent path last season when Gordon Ely-Kelso took over punting duties for Kilgo.

Ely-Kelso could rocket the ball, but he was inconsistent during the season and even had a safety called on him in the SEC Championship game against LSU. He was suspended for the Georgia Southern game earlier this season after he broke unspecified team rules. Mark Richt didn’t exactly know what he had in terms of punting until the second game of the season.

But when he returned, however, Ely-Kelso was consistent. He was named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week after Georgia’s 20-16 win over South Carolina. In that game, Ely-Kelso punted five times, with two of the kicks landing inside the 20 yard line. He also averaged 45.2 yards per punt, with a long of 61 yards.

“He has punted well,” said Georgia head coach Mark Richt. “But he has missed a couple.”

This season, Ely-Kelso has punted ten times for an average of 41.8 yards. Half of his punts have pinned the opposing team inside their 20-yard line. Ely-Kelso has been good, but Richt says the sophomore is not perfect.

“He dropped a couple off poorly onto his foot; they didn’t come out the way he would have liked for them to. It’s like he has been flawless, but he has been very good. It’s unfortunate we have had to see so much of him. But I am glad he is back and punting well for us.”

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