A word to the wise: If you’re an Auburn fan, or fond of some other SEC school with Alabama on the schedule each fall, now is a good time to look away. The Crimson Tide just got better. Again.
Like most years, Nick Saban has backloaded significant institutional depth into his recruiting Class of 2016. In this case, it includes a place kicker, a role for which coaches are deathly wary to spend more than one scholarship slot on. Let’s just say that Eddy Pineiro, the recipient of that aforementioned scholarship from Saban, appears to be worth the extra effort. On Monday, video surfaced of Pineiro connecting from 77 yards during a practice session.
We’ll repeat that: 77 YARDS!!! That’s less than two first downs after fielding a kick off in the end zone, and a team is already in his range. It’s completely, utterly insane.
It’s also a game changer in Tuscaloosa or anywhere else, provided Pineiro can eventually connect from that distance in a game. Given the ease with which he connected from nearly 80 yards, we’re tempted to say that even a 60-65 yarder might even be routine for the kid.
Pineiro is a North Miami Beach native who is most notable for the fact that he hasn’t actually made any field goals yet; at Miami Sunset High he was a star soccer player aimed at a scholarship in that sport.
Instead, he spent time at ASA College, a junior college, and now is headed to Tuscaloosa. If he ends up proving as reliable as he has looked in training, he may completely change the way programs evaluate and recruit kickers in the future.