A Shining Week for Chris Hetland

Gator walk-on kicker Chris Hetland had a great Thanksgiving weekend by any measure. Leading the SEC in field goal percentage, he went two for three against archrival FSU in The Swamp, playing a large role in a monumental victory over the Seminoles. Earlier in the week, Hetland also received very pleasant news from Coach Meyer – a much deserved scholarship for his senior season next year.

Chris Hetland, who hails from Leesburg, Georgia, was in an unusual situation where his tutition at the University of Florida is three to four times higher than for most because he is an out-of-state student.The scholarship will alleviate some heavy financial concerns and he's earned every bit of it by making 12 out of 14 field goals so far on the season, leading the SEC.

Last Wednesday, Coach Meyer announced the scholarship to Hetland & the team and Hetland ended up being a little overwhelmed about the whole thing.

"I announced it on Wednesday," said Coach Meyer. "When I went to tell him, something came up and he was late for a meeting or something. I said, ‘You are going to be on scholarship next year.' He kind of teared up and asked if he could tell his family. I said he better make some field goals against FSU. He will be on scholarship starting the spring semester."

Naturally, Hetland feels that it is a great honor to be awarded a coveted scholarship to the University of Florida, especially in football. "It was the ultimate reward for all the work I have put in and all the time I have put in," said Hetland. "It has been great for my family. I just told my mom and dad after the game. Mom was ready to shed some tears. Dad was acting tough and wouldn't do it."

Buoyed by his new scholarship offer, Hetland ended up outscoring the entire Seminole offense with his two field goals and four extra points. Hetland's points alone would have still won the game by three points, and he barely missed a third field goal by a couple yards.

Hetland obviously enjoyed his day in the spotlight against such a tough rival. "I was excited to be out there and it was great to play against FSU," he said.

Now that Hetland sports a full-fledged scholarship for his senior season, both the Gators and Hetland have a lot to kick forward to.

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