TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Add one more accolade to Roberto Aguayo’s trail-blazing career. Aguayo became the first junior kicker in 16 years to declare early for the NFL draft, and his decision proved a wise one when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted him in the second round (59th overall) on Friday night. Aguayo, a three-time All-American at Florida State, is the highest drafted kicker since the New York Jets took Ohio State’s Mike Nugent in the second round in 2005.
He is the third-highest drafted kicker in the last 20 years behind only Nugent and another former Seminole: Sebastian Janikowski (No. 17 overall in 2000).
With Aguayo set to join the professional ranks, the Seminoles could have as many as four former kickers on NFL rosters this fall. Oakland’s Janikowski (1997-99, first round in 2000), Carolina’s Graham Gano (2005-08, UDFA) and Washington’s Dustin Hopkins (2009-12, sixth round in 2013) are the others.
“I’m thrilled for Roberto and his family,” Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said on Friday night. “He was a phenomenal player for us, but an even better person. He will go down as one of the greatest kickers in college football history. He was a leader on and off the field here at Florida State and was a class act from the minute he stepped on campus. I couldn’t be happier for him. He was a pleasure to coach. I look forward to him continuing the FSU legacy of kickers in the NFL and I’m excited to watch him compete for the Buccaneers for years to come.”
Aguayo’s selection comes on the heels of record-setting career at Florida State.
The 2013 Lou Groza Award winner, Aguayo is officially the most accurate kicker in NCAA history. He connected on 69 of 78 career field goal attempts (88.4 percent) and was a perfect 198 for 198 on extra point attempts.
In light of new NFL kicking rules, Aguayo’s consistency and experience made him an even more attractive option than usual.
The league recently voted to permanently move extra-points back, from the 2-yard line to the 15, making for a 33-yard attempt. And, new for this year, teams who take a touchback after a kickoff will receive the ball at the 25-yard line instead of the 20.
Aguayo’s perfect mark from inside 40 yards while at FSU suggests that he’ll be virtually automatic with extra points.
And the Seminoles’ kickoff strategy, in which Fisher directed Aguayo to kick the ball high and into a deep corner in hopes of pinning opponents deep, suggests that he’ll be just fine in that regard, too.
“(With the new rules changes), the consistency of those level of those guys is going through the roof,” Fisher said. “He’s going to be invaluable.”