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Roberto Aguayo: NFL Draft Declaration a First for Underclassmen Kickers in 16 Years


For the first time in 16 years, an underclassman kicker has declared for the NFL Draft though both kickers did so after playing at Florida State University.

Redshirt junior Roberto Aguayo confirmed Wednesday morning he would declare for the NFL Draft. The last kicker to leave school early was former Seminoles kicker Sebastian Janikowski when he did so ahead of the 2000 draft.

"After giving this decision careful thought and meeting with my family and Coach Fisher, I have decided to enter the NFL Draft," Aguayo said in a statement. "These last four years have been nothing short of incredible on and off the field. I have made memories that I will always treasure. One goal when I got here was to graduate, and I'm thankful I was able to earn my degree in Criminology this fall.

"Ever since I was a kid, I have bled Garnet and Gold. When I received a scholarship to play football at FSU from Coach Fisher it was a dream come true and a blessing."

Kickers are often overlooked in the NFL Draft, but their value is undeniable considering how many important games come down to fourth quarter field goal attempts. And Aguayo's sensational numbers at FSU should garner him some serious looks from NFL scouts.

According to The Tallahassee Democrat, Aguayo converted 267 of all 276 kicks in his three seasons for the Seminoles, breaking the NCAA record for the highest percentage of all time 96.73 percent, surpassing the previous record of 96.67 percent.

Janikowski became the fourth kicker ever to be taken in the first round when the Raiders selected him 17th overall and he rewarded his team with 16 seasons as one of the league's best kickers, possibly all-time as well. For comparison's sake, Janikowski was a two-time All-American, whereas Aguayo earned the honor three times.

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