UNLV Player Of The Day: Sergio's Back!
Aug. 13, 2007
UNLV PLAYER OF THE DAY:
Sergio Aguayo, 6-1, 200, SR-3L, San Jacinto, CA (San Jacinto HS)
It's not often that a place-kicker who missed half of his field-goal attempts the previous year is named preseason first team all-conference by at least one preview publication. But what Sergio Aguayo did last fall while playing for UNLV is even more rare.
Aguayo, who was on target to break avery kicking record in school history, instead tore his ACL/MCL in the first half of Game One on a kickoff tackle gone wrong. However, instead of heading under the knife, Aguayo headed to rehab and came back two games later to kick with a brace on his injured kicking leg.
While he missed an uncharacteristically high number of kicks -- including more in one game at San Diego State than he had missed in any entire previous season -- he also matched his career-long with a 52-yarder vs. TCU and finished 14-16 in extra points.
Unquestionably one of the top kickers in school history, Aguayo finally had that surgery in December, sat out during spring practice and is back booting footballs during preseason camp. That is why he is our second UNLV Player of The Day.
Aguayo even says the experience will make him a better kicker in his final year, and hopefully, into a pro career.
"Playing hurt like that made me mentally tougher and will help me focus more," says the former John Robinson recruit. "I'm sore after I kick sometimes but there's nothing major (following rehab)."
Asked about his goals in 2007, Aguayo quickly talks of only team victories and getting the Fremont Cannon back to Las Vegas.
"Mainly I want to make more crucial kicks and have my team know that when I'm needed out there I can make it when we need it most."
Special Teams Coordinator Mike Bradeson says Aguayo is doing remarkably well considering that the kicker was cleared to compete without a brace just about two weeks ago.
"He's done an excellent job rehabbing and is kicking it real well right now in practice. We already have complete confidence in his abilities."