Roberto Aguayo: Kicker– But Still a Leader


One of the bigger questions facing the 2015 FSU football team is leadership. With the departure of players like Jameis Winston, Rashad Greene, and Cameron Erving for the NFL, the ‘Noles are in the early stages of finding their leaders for the coming season. Kickers rarely fulfill such a role– but as Seminole fans know by now, Roberto Aguayo is not just any kicker. I caught up with him after Florida State’s first spring practice, and he spoke about his role as a leader on this this year’s team.

Aguayo was speaking with a group of us, and was asked about replacing veteran leadership:

"“I feel like I’m a leader on this team. I know I’m a kicker, but with the reputation I have on this team, people look up to me. . . . For some people, it’s tough. Some people are vocal leaders, and some people are more quiet leaders. But the leaders are stepping up, you can see who’s stepping up, and we’re going to wait until the other freshmen get in in the summer and then obviously we’ll be ready.”"

After fielding a few more questions, members of the media started peeling off, eager to transcribe their audio and prepare their next posts. But I had one more question for the Mascotte, FL product. The other week, when we were allowed access to the last day of FSU’s fourth-quarter drills, I was struck by Aguayo’s hustle in leading his group through exercises.

I described to Aguayo how much he stuck out in the drills, and how, usually, for a kicker, that may not necessarily be for a good reason– to which he offered his familiar smile and a laugh. As the Q&A session had seemingly died off, a member of the FSU Sports Information staff, doing his job, tried to get the Groza Award winner off the field.

I was, of course, prepared to walk away, not wanting to infringe upon Aguayo’s busy schedule. But Aguayo wouldn’t have it; he wanted to speak to the matter. And for good reason– it’s an issue that’s very important to the redshirt-junior.

“No,” he said to the FSU staffer, “no, it’s fine.” He continued, to just me, in a tone of sincerity and intensity: “I take that seriously. In high school, when I was younger, I used to do all that. I just like competition. I like being first. I don’t like when anybody beats me.”

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At this point, we were told to “walk and talk,” so we did so, strolling slowly toward the practice field exit. Yet Aguayo continued, explaining that his competitiveness knows no bounds:

"“When a DB beats me, when somebody else beats me, I don’t like that, so being up first, well, I am a leader, being up first, because the other guys, the younger guys, are like, oh, I don’t want to mess up. I’m like, alright: watch me do it, watch me do it, and that’s when you learn from that. And they get that security, you know?”"

“That shows who the leaders are.”