UF’s Pineiro giving up eligibility for NFL shot

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Florida Gators long snapper Ryan Farr (41)celebrates with Florida Gators place kicker Eddy Pineiro (15) against UAB on Nov. 18 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Cyndi Chambers/Correspondent]

[Update: 12-20] In anticipation of place-kicker Eddy Pineiro’s possibly leaving early for the NFL, Florida coach Dan Mullen and his staff went hard after prep All-American kicker Evan McPherson and gained his commitment last week.

Good move.

Because Pineiro is going to forgo his senior season to enter the draft, The Sun has learned.

Pineiro made his decision official on Twitter on Tuesday night. He Tweeted the following: “I will not be returning for my senior year and will be declaring early for the 2018 NFL draft. Thank you Gator Nation and the University of Florida for a great 2 years from me and my family!”

Pineiro, one of the most popular players on the team the past two seasons, was the nation’s most accurate field goal kicker in 2017, making 17 of 18 attempts, including his last 16 in a row. He was second-team All-SEC and third-team All-American.

As a sophomore in 2016, Pineiro was good on 21 of 25 attempts and was three-for-three on attempts from 50 yards or longer.

When Pineiro learned late in the season that he would be eligible for the draft, he said he would strongly consider it because it would give him a chance to help his family in Miami financially.

Pineiro is the third Gator underclassman leaving early for the draft, joining junior defensive tackle Taven Bryan and junior wide receiver Antonio Callaway.

McPherson, rated the nation’s No. 2 place-kicker coming out of high school, likely is the leading candidate to replace Pineiro in 2018. McPherson, who is from Fort Payne, Ala., made a 60-yard field goal in a game for Fort Payne High back in October.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Good Luck Eddy. You will be surely missed in the Gator Nation. Always welcomed back to visit. New kicker has some mighty big shoes to fill. All the best to both young men.

    • Nicely put, Skip. Hate to see this fine young man go, but they can’t stay forever either and by God, if he’s got to go early at least he has the best of all reasons.

  2. This is no slight to Eddy but this move shows just how broken our program is. Kickers don’t declare early. Even the waterboy looks to leave early if possible. Every player on our team has the thought process of 3 years and gone. Eddy has been a great kicker for us and I wish him the best of luck in the pros. Probably the best player on offense not named Calloway.

  3. David, are you kidding? This has nothing to do with the program and everything to do with his family’s financial plight. His family’s financial situation was well known prior to him committing to the Gators.

  4. Pretty sad when your kicker is the most popular player on the team. No slight intended to Eddy. Just a reflection on the rest of MacBBQ’s soft Azz teams.

  5. “Dan Mullen and his staff went hard after prep All-American kicker Everson McPherson” Is it Everson or Evan? Hopefully we don’t insult the young man by not getting his name correct. Every article I’ve read has his name as Evan.

  6. I expected this and don’t blame Eddy one bit. There is a LOT of money out there for him to pick up in the next few months, and his family will be much better off cause that’s what he said his priorities were – taking care of them. It would be nice to see Eddy in the NFL for years to come, a la Sebastian Janikowski who showed you can do it long-term in the NFL and make your life’s fortune.

  7. I still feel he was never given the chance to show just how good a leg he has. 3 for 3 last season from 50+ but not one attempt longer than 50 this year if I recall. For the life of me I don’t know why he wasn’t allowed to try a 60+ yarder. Would have loved to see the try…

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