Mark Gent Enters Final Season

Mark Gent is one of 16 seniors on the team this season. He is a kicker from St. Thomas Aquinas who began his career in 2001. Although he has not been a big contributor on the field throughout his career, he contributes to the team in other ways.

Mark Gent made 22-of-26 field goals during his senior season in 1999 at St. Thomas Aquinas and was regarded as the state's top kicker.

While at St. Thomas Aquinas he provided the difference in a 38-35 win in the Class 4A State Championship and was a four-year letterman for the varsity soccer team that won state and national championships in 1997 and 1998.

His career at Miami has been somewhat different although he did win a national championship ring in 2001.

Gent is the longest tenured Hurricane on the team and is the only 2000 signee still remaining. He has seen a number of players come through the program including 19 first-round picks. While Gent has been on the team the Hurricanes have compiled a 44-6 record.

"It has been a long time," Gent said looking back on his journey.

While on the team Gent has been a backup kicker to Todd Sievers and now Jon Peattie. It's not an easy role to fill, but he is happy to be there when needed.

"Obviously my career didn't go the way I would have liked it to go," Gent said. "However, I am still working and I am there if they need me."

One of the things he has done in his career is help out in various drills in practice. Last spring he worked in at linebacker because of the lack of players and during the season he worked a lot with the receivers. This spring he has been seen as a quarterback in offensive line-defensive line one-on-one drills.

"Basically I will do anything to help the team," Gent said. "If they need someone to fill in a spot, why not me? I am standing around during practice anyways."

In his career he is 2-for-3 on point after touchdowns and has not kicked a field goal in a game. He shared the kickoff duties in 2003 before Brian Monroe assumed the role on a full-time basis.

Despite limited playing time Gent is enjoying being a Hurricane.

"It is so much fun," Gent said.

Gent, 23, is the second oldest player on the team and will be entering his final season as a member of the Hurricanes this fall. Nearly every player near the end of their Miami careers will talk about how much they will miss the camaraderie of their teammates. Gent echos their sentiments.

"I'll miss the camaraderie and hanging out with the boys all of the time," Gent said. "You can't beat that."

This year Miami returns punter Brian Monroe and kicker Jon Peattie for their junior seasons. Gent offered his opinion on both players.

"I think Brian is getting better and better every single year," Gent said. "He has so much natural talent. Now he is getting the coaching and he continues to improve."

Peattie made 13-of-22 field goals last season after making 22-of-28 as a freshman.

"Jon didn't exactly have his best year last year, but I don't see that as a problem," Gent said. "I think last season was a fluke for him."

With his current role on the team one would have to wonder if it is tough at times.

"Never," Gent responded with a smile.

And why is that?

"Because I love doing it."

Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com

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