- David M. Hale, ESPN Staff Writer
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Throughout the summer, Nole Nation will be counting down the 40 players we're projecting to make the biggest impact on the Seminoles' 2013 season, taking into consideration everything from experience to potential to their spot on the current depth chart.
Next up: No. 29 Roberto Aguayo
Position/Class: K/Redshirt freshman
What he's done: Two things were clear at the start of 2012: Roberto Aguayo had the leg to be an exceptional college kicker, but unless Dustin Hopkins got hurt, he wouldn't get a chance to showcase it in a game. True to form, Aguayo spent his first year at Florida State on the sideline, but it wasn't a fruitless endeavor. He studied under Hopkins, the most prolific kicker in college football history, and got a feel for the game-day atmosphere, both at home and on the road. It was a one-year apprenticeship Aguayo hopes will serve him well now that he's atop the depth chart.
Where he's at: The spotlight is completely on Aguayo now that Hopkins has moved on to the NFL, and he insists he's ready. There's no comparison to getting off a kick in a real game, but Aguayo believes the time he spent working with Hopkins last year has prepared him for what's in store. If the spring is any indication, he's right. Jimbo Fisher raved about how well Aguayo kicked throughout spring practice, and while the redshirt freshman botched his first attempt in the Garnet and Gold game, he followed that by drilling his next five in a row, including an impressive 58-yarder as time expired.
What's to come: Aguayo's biggest problem may end up being the comparisons to Hopkins, who was immensely productive and consistent throughout his FSU career. It's a high bar to exceed, in spite of Aguayo's obvious talent. But it's also worth mentioning that even Hopkins wasn't a star from Day 1. As a freshman, Hopkins connected on just 70 percent of his field-goal attempts -- but those numbers ticked up markedly each subsequent year. That's the path Aguayo should look to follow. The pressure is on, but no one should expect perfection (or Hopkins' 83.3 percent success rate from 2012) this season. If Agayo can nail a few big kicks and build confidence as he goes, he has a bright future.