Stampeding Through The Roster: #28 K Maikon Bonani

DAYTON, OH - MARCH 14: Cheerleaders for the South Florida Bulls perform against the California Golden Bears in the first round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at UD Arena on March 14, 2012 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

You all know this next player and his entire backstory... but let's pretend like we don't.

#28 K Maikon Bonani
Redshirt Senior, 5'10", 176 lbs.

Stats In 2011: Bonani made 19 of 26 field goals, along with a perfect 42-for-42 on extra points. His 99 points were the second-most in a season in school history. Bonani tied his career long with a 49-yarder against Notre Dame. Late in the season, with the punting game in a shambles, Maikon was brought out as a punter. He got off a 72-yard rugby punt against Louisville, which would have tied a school record if it hadn't been called back by a penalty. His only other attempt, against West Virginia, was blocked.

Current Position On Depth Chart: Bonani is and will be the starting placekicker, barring a complete meltdown. Bonani is also listed as the potential kickoff specialist, although Marvin Kloss handled that role last year and may do it again this year.

How He Came To USF: Maikon played at Lake Wales High School, where he was the Class 3A first-team kicker in 2006 and second-team kicker in 2007. The Lakeland Ledger named him their 2007 Polk County Male Athlete of the Year, as he also lettered in tennis and soccer (where he was also Polk County player of the year in 2007). Although offering scholarships to high school kickers is a highly inexact science, USF offered one to Bonani and he accepted.

Recruiting Rankings: Rivals gave Bonani two stars, and Scout did the same. Neither ranked Maikon among the best at that position, but honestly, who can tell with kickers?

Projected Playing Time In 2012: Bonani only needs three points to become USF's all-time leading scorer, surpassing Bill Gramatica. He should have no trouble exceeding that record as he continues to handle field goals and extra points for the Bulls. Bonani is a sort of folk hero for USF fans. He's been about as dependable as you can hope for from a college kicker, and I'm sure I'll miss him when he's gone.

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