From Junior College Soccer to Alabama Football in Just Months, Eddy Pineiro Commits

By: Zach Harig

Soccer and football work together when it comes to kickers on the gridiron but North Miami native, Eddy Pineiro, is one of the best to make the switch so quickly. After attending Miami Sunset Senior High School, Pineiro had his heart set on attending ASA Junior College in Miami to play soccer. However, those plans quickly changed once he began kicking footballs instead. Quickly on the rise, Pineiro began seeking training from kicking companies such as One On One Kicking and their kicking & punting technique specialist Jesse Ohliger, who is also the director of One On One’s Miami Division.

“Training with Jesse is a lot of fun and he’s a tremendous coach. He teaches you about the body and how to prevent from being injured, and even though I haven’t been with him for very long, I’ve learned quite a bit,” Pineiro stated.

In fact, Pineiro is extremely new to One On One Kicking and kicking training in general. “I began training with One On One Kicking about two months ago and they’ve already made a few differences. Right away, Coach Ohliger saw that I ‘crunch’ sometimes when I kick, so he worked with me on my arm movement and positioning, that’s made a big difference already,” Pineiro said.

“I’ve gone a different route with Eddy,” Ohliger stated on training Pineiro, “I didn’t teach him his leg strength, he’s had that. I didn’t want to change his form, but I wanted to educate him on how to safely make the transition between soccer and football and the proper technique. Coming from soccer, you can usually mash the ball but after time you can wear down from bad technique,” said Ohliger.

Despite the training and learning from One On One Kicking, Pineiro already possessed the raw talent and ability that all kickers need once he arrived for coaching. The leg strength and kicking accuracy quickly made Pineiro one of the top prospects in the country. Pineiro quickly received an invite to an Alabama camp that included thirty of the top kickers in the nation, most that have been kicking for several years.

Rather than the experienced big names, it was Pineiro turning heads – including the head of Alabama head coach, Nick Saban. Pineiro struck twelve kickoffs during the camp, all of which were over eighty yards, including an eighty-six yard kickoff which was the longest of the day. Pineiro quickly found himself surrounded by the Alabama coaching staff and was given a campus tour before heading back to Miami.

“I learned a lot about myself at the Alabama camp,” Pineiro said, “I got to compare myself to the best kickers in the country and I realized that I handle pressure really well.”

Following his visit as he returned back to Miami, Pineiro and his father received a phone call from Tuscaloosa, which resulted in Nick Saban offering him a full scholarship.

Rather than waiting, Pineiro decided to jump at the opportunity. “I don’t want to say I was surprised that the offer came, but I was extremely happy when it did,” Pineiro stated, “I wanted to take the opportunity when it presented itself. I truly fell in love with the facility, coaches, environment, and tradition at Alabama, and that’s what really made me love it.”

After accepting the scholarship from Alabama, Pineiro also received an offer from Georgia, another SEC offer for one of the best in the country.

“Eddy is the best JUCO kicker in the country, hands down,” said One On One Kicking founder, Mike McCabe, “He’s so strong and very athletic. Eddy has a NFL leg and is extremely determined; we just have to concentrate on his timing.”

Pineiro’s training with One On One Kicking hasn’t just payed off for Pineiro, but it’s given his technique specialist, Jesse Ohliger some moments of disbelief as well. “Eddy does things every day that make you question if it just happened,” Ohliger said, “If Eddy isn’t the strongest field goal kicking wise in the country; he’s within the top three. He kicked a 55-yarder one day while training and ended up breaking the net, that may be a coincidence, but he’s incredible.”

In fact, Pineiro is so incredible that he found himself on national television after a 72-yard field goal. SportsCenter showed video of Pineiro crushing a ball with ease from 72-yards out, something that NFL kickers struggle to do, which caused the video to go viral.

From One On One Kicking founder, Mike McCabe, to coach Jesse Ohliger, everyone is quite high on the future of Eddy Pineiro. With the ‘NFL leg’ of Pineiro and the proper training from Ohliger and One On One Kicking, Alabama is getting one of the top (if not the top) kickers in the country.