Oct 29, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Florida Gators place kicker Eddy Pineiro (15) looks on against the Georgia Bulldogs during the second half at EverBank Field. Florida Gators defeated the Georgia Bulldogs 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Eddy Piñeiro Looking forward to Bama, the SEC Championship Game

Florida Gator kicker Eddy Piñeiro has been just what the doctor ordered for the Gators this season. Last season, the Gators made just 41 percent of their field goals.Piñeiro has turned it around, kicking 82 percent of field goals and making his last nine field goals. Piñeiro believes he is starting to peak and hit his stride.

Almost Crimson

The Gators almost missed out on Piñeiro, due to the fact he was at one time committed to the Alabama Crimson Tide. It was narrowed down to Alabama and Florida for Piñeiro, and he leaned towards Florida because of their kicking struggles.

Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain made a comment on the kicking struggles and said he hoped to find someone who could make field goals. Piñeiro said it made him feel bad because he wants all kickers to do well and knows how it feels to miss field goals. usatsi_9608517_168381752_lowres

Piñeiro knew he wanted to be a Florida Gator when Jim McElwain went to his house at eight in the morning following a loss in the SEC Championship game. He thought Coach McElwain could have gone to a running back’s or a quarterback’s house, but McElwain came to him — a kicker.

Once he made his decision he knew he had to call Alabama head coach Nick Saban. Piñeiro says calling Saban to decline joining his team was probably the hardest thing he had to do in his life, but Saban was very understanding.

Piñeiro says joining the Gators was the best decision he made in his life, after seeing the Gators’ kicking struggles last year and now being a big help.He is looking forward to playing Alabama this Saturday, especially those there he met while being recruited. 

SEC Championship Bound

As for the SEC championship game, Piñeiro’s teammates have told him a few things about what to expect. Piñeiro says Gator punter Johnny Townsend told him you should always want to face to best team in the country, and the indoor conditions will benefit him greatly.

Piñeiro will be looking to continue helping the Gators in the SEC championship game on Saturday. Whether he made the right choice coming to Florida or not, Piñeiro can rest easy knowing he’s a big part of the team heading to Atlanta.

About Sidney St. Cyr

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