The man likely to be tabbed with solving Alabama's placekicking woes wasn't even playing the sport when the Tide lost to archrival Auburn in the infamous Kick Six game some 19-plus months ago.
In fact, two years ago as a senior at Miami’s Sunset Senior High School, Eddy Pineiro was making a name for himself as one of the top soccer players in South Florida.
Things have changed pretty quickly for the 6'1", 180-pounder.
Even though he’s yet to make an actual field goal in a real football game, video of his successful 73-yard field goal over the weekend is setting the internet on fire.
To put that in perspective, Pineiro's boot is nine yards longer than the current NFL record set by Matt Prater in 2013, as noted by NFL.com's Chase Goodbread.
The 3-star kicker, who is currently enrolled at ASA Community College in Miami, committed to Alabama earlier this month after wowing head coach Nick Saban at the Tide’s summer camp.
If there were any doubts about his credentials and lack of experience, one boot with a thunderous boom appears to have silenced any lingering critics.
But if you dig a little deeper into his introduction to the game of football, his lengthy blast wouldn’t come as a total shock.
After being recommended to the football coach at Sunset by his soccer coach, Pineiro—who scored 28 goals as a forward in soccer during his senior year—walked out to the field for his first kick from the 50-yard line and calmly buried it.
“I told my dad that I just kicked a 40- or 50-yarder because I didn’t really know how football worked at that time,” Pineiro told Bleacher Report. “Then my coach came out and told me that I just kicked a 60-yarder. I was like, ‘Are you serious?’ That’s kind of how it started.”
However, there were still a few bumps in the road for Pineiro before he became serious about committing to playing football.
He only played in seven games at Sunset during his senior season, with his sole duty being to handle the team’s kickoff duties.
“I only did kickoffs for five or six games,” Pineiro explained. “It was nothing serious. I was a big soccer guy who was just trying to help out our football team.”
As AL.com’s Drew Champlin notes, Pineiro wound up going to ASA College in Miami after a soccer scholarship to FAU fell through due to an NCAA clearance issue.
His rise in football came shortly after he started working with kicking coach Brandon Kornblue.
According to the Kornblue Kicking website, Pineiro joined Kornblue’s training program in February and proceeded to blast a record 86-yard kickoff at the company’s spring kicking challenge. Additionally, he hit all seven of his field-goal attempts from 50 yards and in, nailed a 60-yarder in the long-ball competition and had one kick from 71 yards bounce off the crossbar.
He made a 60-yarder again in front of the coaches at ASA College, and that’s when his prep soccer coach told him that he could have a future in the game of football.
“I really decided to take football seriously,” Pineiro said. “[Kornblue] got a video together of me when I started working with him. I started getting better. That’s pretty much how everything started happening.”
Florida became the first school to offer in early June. That tender was followed up by an offer from the hometown Miami Hurricanes.
However, Pineiro had his sights set on a different powerhouse program out of the SEC—Alabama. He wasted little time in making an impression on Saban.
“We were out there kicking and coach called for four of us to go in the indoor facility to kick for Coach Saban,” Pineiro told Champlin. “I won the kicking competition and felt like I was the best one on there. I handled the pressure and I'm ready to kick at the next level. The pressure didn't bother me. I just went in there and did what I was supposed to do.”
After earning a scholarship offer from Saban, he chose to commit to the Tide.
“I like the tradition they have there at the school and their history,” Pineiro said of his attraction to Alabama. “They are always going to compete for a national title. I love the school, the facilities, the locker room, the weight room, the indoor facility, the outdoor facility and things like that. It was awesome. I completely fell in love when I was there. I felt at home.”
Pineiro mentioned Florida State All-American kicker Roberto Aguayo—who also has a background as a soccer player—as someone he’s paid close attention to as he’s made the transition from soccer to football.
“I was looking at Roberto Aguayo from FSU,” Pineiro said. “The way he kicks and the way his attitude is toward the game, I really like that about him. A lot of people tell me the ball makes a similar sound when I kick it as it does with him.”
For now, Pineiro said his main focus is on getting to Alabama and helping the Tide make sure that their recent place-kicking woes are a thing of the past.
“I want to go there and I want to break records at Alabama,” Pineiro said. “I want the fans to feel comfortable when I go out on the field for a kick. I want to be the best kicker in the nation and that’s what I’m training hard for right now. That’s what I want to do. I want to change the kicking game there.”
Sanjay Kirpalani is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand and all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.