Most division one football players have grown up with a passion for the game. The moment they put on their pads for the very first time, they knew it was special. The rush of adrenaline they felt after their first touchdown or tackle quickly becomes addicting. Within a few years, the entire schedule for their lives revolves around the beloved sport.
This is not how Eddy Pineiro became one of the most highly sought after kickers in the nation; he first fell in love with soccer. Growing up, he envisioned himself running around on the pitch and scoring goals.
During his senior year of high school, he decided to make the transition from one football to another. “It was the hardest decision of my life,” says Eddy.
Flashy lifestyles, thousands of people cheering you on every weekend, fans going crazy when they see you on the street – these are a few reasons why some players dream of making it to the NFL. However, this is not the lifelong goal for Eddy Pineiro.
“My family was not financially well and was not able to pay for me to go to college,” says Eddy. This meant he had to work hard every day to earn a scholarship at a university to be given the chance to further his education.
At first, he saw himself in crimson red, kicking for the roaring fans of Alabama. However, he began to reconsider after weighing the benefits and drawbacks. Eventually, he realized it was not meant to be.
In December 2015, he decommitted from the University of Alabama. The next day, he announced he would be furthering his football career at the University of Florida. Florida offers the best fit and situation for what he was seeks from a college.
“I chose to commit to Florida because I wanted to stay close to home and have my parents come and watch all my games,” says Eddy.
When he enrolled at the University of Florida, he became the first person in his family to attend college.
Eddy has a few goals for his time in the Swamp. The two most prevalent on his mind are to break records at Florida and kick the longest field goal in college football history.
He is well on his way to doing just that. In December of last year, sports organizations including ESPN and Sports Illustrated went crazy after receiving a video of him kicking a 77-yard field goal. Overnight, the video went viral.
This isn’t just a one-time thing either. Various videos document him nailing multiple field goals from similar distances. To set things into perspective, the longest field goal ever made during an NFL game is a mere 64 yards. The record field goal at any level is 69 yards.
It was a large boost of confidence for Eddy, but he recognizes success during practice means nothing. His focus is on proving to everyone that he can kick with the same distance during high-pressure games.
For Eddy, football is not just a game. He plans to use his abilities to make his way to the NFL. When he does, he will finally be given the opportunity to give back to his family. With this in the back of his mind, he has a drive more intense than most players.
He is already kicking longer field goals than in most NFL games. If he improves his flexibility like he hopes to over the next few years at Florida, there is nothing standing in his way of kicking field goals on Sundays.
Eddy’s Advice: Don’t let people tell you that you are not good enough. When I first started kicking they said I could never go D1 and look where I am now. Keep praying and God does amazing things.