Joe Surgan is not your stereotypical kicker whose first
lust is academics. You won't find a pocket protector
for his sun glasses. The 6-4, 220-pound All-State
performer has an imposing physical stature and strong
leg that immediately captures your attention.
"I went up there [Florida] for the camp late June," he
said. "From what I had heard, they either weren't
going to sign a kicker or I wasn't high enough on
their board for one reason or another. So, as soon as
I heard they weren't interested, I moved right along
to the next school."
He stayed true to his course. Surgan committed to Duke
University during the season with an eye focused
directly on his future.
"I'm committed to Duke," he said. "I'm scheduled to
visit Duke on January the 14th. The University of
Florida has been around in recent weeks, and has
expressed a strong interest. I spoke with Coach Meyer
right around Christmas break, December 17th, I guess.
Coach Meyer had come to the school to talk to my coach
[George Smith] about a couple of guys and I got called
down and spoke to him for just a couple of minutes."
While Florida is making a push, he is determined to
honor his commitment to Duke.
"As of yesterday I told them [Florida] that I'm not
interested and that I'll be signing with Duke on
February 6," he said. "I spoke with Coach [Dan] Mullen
[yesterday] and told him that I'll be going to Duke.
From what I understand, I was in their top two, and
they are going to offer a kicker."
Clearly, Surgan would have liked the opportunity to
see what the Gators had to offer back in the summer,
but he didn't sound especially pleased that about the
fact that he heard nothing from the Florida program
for quite a long time. Without hesitation, Surgan
stated that he had to move on.
"I'm 100% with Duke," he said. "The whole program has
sold me. From the coaches to the academics to the
facilities, it was really everything that I was
looking for going into a college. I really do think
they're going to get this thing turned around and I
want to be a part of that. Also, should anything
happen football wise, where I'm not able to perform or
compete, I think that I'm still in a great situation
with a Duke degree."