GAINESVILLE -- Eddy Pineiro didn’t miss a kick in his first ever practice at Florida, and the Gators’ second-year head coach Jim McElwain continues to be impressed by his new specialist.
“He’s been doing good,” McElwain said.
“The operation times have steadily come down. It’s something that we needed to really work on from the start of practice.”
The Gators finished 2015 with the nation’s second-worst field goal percentage (41.2), missing 10 of 17 kicks. Now they hope the Miami native is the answer to their woes.
Pineiro, the nation's No. 1 JUCO kicker in the 2016 class, is UF’s sole scholarship kicker in spring camp after the much-maligned Austin Hardin left the program.
While Pineiro boasts a rocket leg, he’s has never kicked in a live game, so McElwain is using the spring as a vital preparation period for the fall.
“We're putting him in situations every day where he doesn't quite know when it's going to happen,” McElwain said.
“So his understanding that you kind of have to be ready throughout the practice or just like a game. You never know when those kicks are going to come. The thing I've been happy with is the operation times have come down. He's starting to move on the ball a little quicker. It's great to see the ball really get up as quick as it does off his foot."
THIS & THAT
McElwain expects junior wideout Alvin Bailey (back) and junior defensive end Jordan Sherit (hamstring/leg) to return to practice this week, but UF’s coach also complimented JUCO-wideout ‘Dre Massey and sophomore end Keivonnis Davis for their strong work filling in for the injured players. … Senior Ahmad Fulwood was mentioned as a leader in the receivers group by McElwain. … Florida’s coach said the spring is an excellent opportunity to work on special teams fundamentals, specifically mentioning “the competition piece” that comes with the various drills.
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