Florida State football kicks off on Labor day at Pitt. Tomahawk Nation previews the season up until that date by analyzing every player and other key issues facing the 2013 Seminoles.
Roberto Aguayo | 6'1, 212 | RS-Freshman | Kicker
Rated the nation's No. 3 kicker by Rivals...sixth-best kicking prospect according to ESPN.com...247Sports lists him as the nation's third-best kicker...three-star prospect according to ESPN, Rivals, Scout and 247Sports...ESPN lists him as the 105th-best overall prospect in the state of Florida...listed as the 133rd-best prospect in the state by 247 Sports...one of only three kickers to make the ESPNU150 Watch List for 2012...was rated the nation's number one kicking prospect at the age of 16 by Kohl's Kicking Camps...Kohl's said the ball explodes off his foot and that he is ready for Division I football right now...they also pointed out how well he handles pressure and that he is one of the most pure talents they have seen across the country...won the kick-off competition at the ESPN Underclassman Challenge in 2010 with a 74-yard kick that had a 4.04 second hang time...high school coach considers him an offensive weapon and the best high school kicker he's coached since UF's Caleb Sturgis...made 7-of-8 field goals as a junior with his long coming from 48 yards...also accounted for 38 touchbacks in 2010...hit two field goals from 51 yards as a sophomore...longest field goal in practice was 63 yards...attended the National Invitational Scholarship Camp...named the Most Outstanding Kicker at the Jimbo Fisher Summer Camp... started his career playing soccer before he moved over to football...also ranked as the 68th-best punter in the nation by Kohl's...favorite kicker is FSU's Groza Award winner and current Washington Redskin Graham Gano...chose FSU over interest from Tennessee, UCLA, Arkansas, LSU and Michigan.
Aguayo came to Florida State as a consensus top 3 kicker prospect. He redshirted his first year on campus, learning from Dustin Hopkins and former special teams coach Eddie Gran.
He faces the daunting task of replacing Hopkins. The man with the Golden Boot finished his Seminole career as the all time NCAA Division 1 FBS record holder in points scored by a kicker.
Aguayo, originally a greyshirt candidate, received a scholarship for fall 2012. He received a year of coaching to NCAA rules. This may seem unimportant, but the 2012 rule changes give an athletic kickoff unit and a good kicker the opportunity to kick it high inside the 10 yard line and stop the return before the 25 yard line.
Hopkins was excellent at placing the ball inside the 10. FSU was able to keep returners from crossing the 25 quite often. This helped give FSU a field position advantage over many opponents.
Aguayo replaces one of the best kickers in college football, and will be asked to do more than most kickers in college football. He will be expected to make long field goals. He will be expected to place balls inside the 10 on kickoffs.
He can do it.
Aguayo showed during the 2013 Garnet & Gold Game that he has both a powerful and accurate leg. After an early miss from 47 yards, Aguayo recovered and kicked four successful field goals to end the day. The four included kicks from 34 and 47 yards, and the game ended with a 58 yard field goal as time expired. His leg strength is notable. As ricobert1 noted, he simply waddles up to the ball and booms it, almost effortlessly.
In addition to showing his power on field goals, he impressed with the accuracy of his kickoffs. He was able to place multiple kicks inside the 10. Kickoff teams were not live, so there is no way to quantify what sort of field position this would yield.
Aguayo showed in the spring that he has the leg strength and accuracy to be the next in a line of great kickers at FSU. He has a chance to fill the golden shoes of Hopkins, and his play will be a key factor for the 2013 'Noles.