The first stadium Robert Aguayo ever kicked a field goal in was Raymond James, during a Punt, Pass & Kick tournament in 2005. It was a success.
“I actually won the competition,” recalled the Bucs rookie kicker Friday after his first NFL practice. “I won first place and my middle school did a whole big article on it.”
There will be more articles following Aguayo’s next attempt at Ray Jay, and a bit more pressure, too.
For someone who kicked for a National Champion his freshman year and spent the subsequent seasons defending or trying to recapture the title, though, pressure is nothing new for Aguayo.
The 21-year old is embracing the challenge of being the highest drafted kicker since 2005, thus coming in with expectations of joining an elite class of kickers from the start.
“Obviously at Florida State, the pressure was on,” Aguayo said, reminding everyone that he replaced Dustin Hopkins, a successful college kicker and sixth-round draft pick by the Bills in 2013. “It’s been on me my whole career so I think, when there’s pressure, I rise to the occasion.
“I love it. It motivates me and makes me work harder every day.”
While NFL teams aren’t expected to go undefeated like top college programs often are, there’s still a different kind of pressure that Aguayo has yet to face in his career. Being a high recruit is one thing, but having a pro team trade up to spend one of their coveted Top 60 picks on you is another.
For fans, that makes for even higher expectations. For Aguayo, the Bucs’ decision to draft him No. 59 overall shows a kind of trust and respect that he’s motivated to justify.
“I was thinking, wait until (Round 3), the 70s (picks),” Aguayo said of waiting to be drafted. “And all of a sudden I got a phone call and that’s when I found out I was going to be a part of the Bucs.
“I’m just glad that I got the opportunity with the Buccaneers and I’m just trying to make the most of it – they thought I was deserving. A lot of mock drafts projected between the second- and third- and fourth-round so I thank them and I’m glad to be out here on the field kicking.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: [email protected]
Glad to have a kicker for years to come.
How do you know this? Most kickers are flaky and can go into season long slumps – teams don’t have patience and cut ’em. How many kickers has this team gone through over the last two seasons? This team is among the league’s worst, just fired its head coach and was in no position to draft a kicker so high while other more important needs weren’t being met.
We haven’t had a kicker since”AUTOMATICA”! Little things MATTER! LET’S DO THIS!!!!
I’ve hoped he could be a Buccaneer the same way I was about Jameis. Some college players just stand out from the rest. Those are the guys I want on our team……even a kicker.
exactly! perfectly said scubog!!
This guy is not only a winner but he’s now the BUCS winner. The losers are the feebs still whining about the pick. But hell, maybe the whining will further motivate him!
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