the study of the kicking components within sports

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Draft Preview: Vincenzo D'Amato

Among the kickers eligible for this year's NFL draft, or signing as an undrafted free agent thereafter, is California's Vincenzo D'Amato. He ranks in the top ten in several of the various draft rankings.

Excerpts from D'Amato's profile page on the Golden Bears' website:

2013 Senior Season
  • Earned spots on All-Pac-12 teams selected by the league’s coaches (second team), Athlon (third team) and Phil Steele (third team)
  • National semifinalist for Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award as nation’s top placekicker
  • Made all 14 of his attempts from inside 45 yards as well as his first six overall
  • Career-high 20 touchbacks on 57 kickoffs and 3,339 total yards for a 58.6 average
  • Had 12 points in the season opener against Northwestern to earn Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors for the lone time in his career and also honorable mention CFPA National Placekicker of the Week recognition, connecting on all three field goals and three extra points, while also throwing a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jackson Bouza on a fake field goal on Cal’s first drive of the season in his only career passing attempt
  • Registered a season-high 13 points against Portland State in the second game of the season and Cal’s lone win, making 3-of-4 field goals and all four of his extra points to earn CFPA National Placekicker of the Week honors for the second game in a row
  • Had a career-high-tying four touchbacks on a season-high eight kickoffs against Portland State, while posting at least two touchbacks on eight occasions
2012 Junior Season
  • One of Cal’s two first-team All-Pac-12 selections selected by the coaches and its only one returning for 2013, while Phil Steele gave him a second-team nod
  • Made 11 consecutive field goals at one point during the campaign
  • Kicked off 59 times for 3,570 yards and a career-high 60.5 yard average with 18 touchbacks
  • Scored a career-high 14 points that ranked tied for second among Pac-12 kickers during the season against Southern Utah when he connected on a Pac-12 season-high-tying and career-high-tying three field goals by making all of three of his attempts while adding five extra points
  • made his only attempt over 50 yards when he nailed a career-long 52-yarder at Washington State

2011  Redshirted

2010 Sophomore Season
  • Played in one game, kicking off for 51 yards on the team’s second to last kickoff vs. Colorado
2009 Freshman Season
  • Shared placekicking duties for much of the season with Giorgio Tavecchio
  • Booted a season-long 47-yard field goal at Oregon
  • Made both of his field goal attempts in the Big Game at Stanford, connecting for Cal’s first points late in the opening quarter to start a winning rally that brought Cal back from a 14-0 deficit and the Golden Bears’ last points with 2:42 remaining in the contest for the final 34-28 margin
  • Had one touchback and averaged 59.7 yards per kickoff on 11 attempts
High School
  • Earned first-team All-County honors, Special Teams MVP of the Sea View League and All-State recognition from Cal-Hi Sports and MaxPreps as a 2008 senior when he booted 13 field goals (including five from 40 yards or more) and 30 extra points while putting 94 percent of his kickoffs into the end zone
  • Had a season-long field goal of 48 yards during his senior campaign
  • Made 17 field goals and all 33 of his PATs as a 2007 junior

College Stats:
2013: 17 of 20 (85.0%) FGs; 31 of 32 PATs; 82 points
2012: 16 of 23 (69.6%) FGs; 30 of 33 PATs; 78 points

2009: 7 of 12 (58.3%) FGs; 31 of 31 PATs; 52 points

Last February, as spring training got under way, D'Amato discussed heading into his final year of college:
"The other day I was thinking about I finished my last 6 a.m. spring workout at the collegiate level. It was a strange, bittersweet feeling. Talking to the other coaches about it, they all told me to enjoy every second of this year. It's weird to think that this is the last year. As a freshman, I envisioned a much quicker process - do this, graduate, get a life, move on. It's been so fast and now it's my last year and you start thinking, what's going to happen next? What does the future hold for me? It's important for me to focus on what's happening now and enjoy every second."

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