the study of the kicking components within sports

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Draft Preview: Cairo Santos

Among the kickers eligible for this year's NFL draft, or signing as an undrafted free agent thereafter, is Tulane's Cairo Santos. He ranks in the top five in the majority of the various draft rankings.

Excerpts from Santos's profile page on the Green Waves' website:

2013 Senior Season
  • first team All-Conference USA and All-Louisiana selection
  • semifinalist for the 2013 Lou Groza Award
  • twice named the C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week (11/25; 10/14) and was named the Lou Groza Star of the Week and College Football Performance Award National Placekicker of the Week on Oct. 14.
  • notched two game-winners (North Texas, East Carolina) and tied for the longest field goal in the nation this season with a 56-yarder at ULM
  • Santos owned the second longest streak for made field goals in NCAA history with 26
  • handled kickoff duties and has sent 47 of 62 attempts into the back of the end zone and only allowed 13 returns this season
2012 Junior Season
  • won the Lou Groza National Collegiate Place-Kicker Award
  • tabbed College Football Performance National Kicker of the Year
  • named consensus All-American
  • was 11-for-11 from 40-plus yards and 2-for-2 from 50-plus, including a then-record long 54 yarder vs ULM (9/29) before eclipsing that with a 57-yard boot vs Rice (11/3)
  • claimed first-team All-America honors from the Associated Press, Football Writers Association of American, Sports Illustrated and Phil Steele Publications while garnering first-team All-Conference USA and All-Louisiana recognition
  • tied an NCAA Division I record in field goal percentage while becoming just the second player in DI-BCS to finish perfect with 20-plus field goal attempts
  • garnered Special Teams Player of the Week recognition from C-USA and the Louisiana Sports Writers Association as well as College Football Performance Award National Kicker of the Week honors following an 11-point effort when he was 2-for-2 in field goals, including the record 57-yarder, and 5-for-5 in PATs vs Rice (11/3)
  • tabbed Lou Groza Star of the Week after tallying 11 points with two PATs and field goals of 45, 43 and 30 yards at Memphis (11/10)
2011 Sophomore Season
  • scored a season-high 10 points after connecting on 2-of-3 field goals - including a season-long 49-yarder - and all four PATs vs Syracuse (10/8)
  • made punting debut at SMU (11/5) when he drilled two for 77 yards
  • posted career-highs with six punts and 262 yards, including a career-long of 54 yards, at Hawai'i (11/26)
  • kicked off a season-high eight times for 517 yards vs Southeastern Louisiana (9/3)
2010 Freshman Season
  • earned Conference USA All-Freshman Team and honorable-mention All C-USA recognition
  • scored a season-high 12 points after converting a pair of field goals and all six PATs vs Rice (11/13)
  • kicked off seven-or-more times on three occasions, including a nine-boot, 574-yard effort vs Rice
High School
  • Three-year letterman at St. Joseph's Academy where he saw time at wide receiver, kicker and punter
  • over his final two prep seasons, combined to score 156 points after connecting on 19-of-23 field goals and 99-of-100 PATs
  • as a senior, named conference and district Kicker of the year as well as first-team all-conference and all-district honors after hitting 8-of-10 field goals and all 67 PATs...also punted 29 times for 968 yards (44.0 y/p) and hauled in two passes for 44 yards and a score
  • set school record with a 51-yard boot against Monroe Day and broke his own mark later in the game with a 55-yarder
  • had 67 of his 72 kickoffs go for touchbacks
  • named all-county after both his sophomore and junior a junior, hit 11-fo-13 field goals and 32-of-33 PATs, sending 20 of his 33 kickoffs into the endzone for touchbacks and punting 37 times for 1,473 yards (39.81 y/p)
  • also lettered three years in soccer where he scored 57 career goals and had 49 career assists

College Stats:
2013: 16 of 23 (69.6%) FGs; 38 of 38 PATs; 86 points
2012: 21 of 21 (100.0%) FGs; 26 of 27 PATs; 89 points
2011: 11 of 18 (61.1%) FGs; 33 of 34 PATs; 66 points
2010: 13 of 16 (81.3%) FGs; 32 of 33 PATs; 71 points

Back in February, Santos discussed his NFL Scouting Combine experience and the prospect of being in the USA rather than Brazil during the upcoming World Cup:
“I’ve been practicing since I heard at combine they want you to kick it all different ways. It’s a matter of fundamentals, make sure you line up in the right spot. I’ve been told NFL coaches want touchbacks, so I’ll try to kick it as far as I can, but I also have a decent hangtime. I want to meet the biggest amount of coaches and general managers and show them my personality. People tell me a I’m a likable guy. I want to show that to them, that I would be a great addition to their club. I hope I can hit the ball well tomorrow and that I have a strong enough leg to kick in this league....

It would be a good excuse not to go. I’d love to be in camp and follow the World Cup here. If there is any week or two-week span I could be down there I’d make sure to be down there. I hope I am in a camp and watching from here.... Yes, it was my dream until I was 18 years old and I had to make a decision to go to college to play football or soccer. Every kid in Brazil dreams of wearing the yellow jersey with No. 10 on the back, being the superstar of the national team. It’s something I won’t be able to experience but I still have the same passion for this sport as I do soccer.”

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