The Bulls keep riding the wave of momentum getting their 11th commit of the year from Kicker Maikon Bonani of Lake Wales.
"I think they got a great one," said Lake Wales head coach Rod Shafer. "He's the best one I've had. If there's one kid that I'm sure of it's him"
Bonani has a big time leg, hitting three field goals from more than 50 yards last year, the longest being 57 yards. He also routinely sends kick-offs through the end zone, and in practice hits field goals of 60-70 yards. That combination of power and accurcy has made him one of the top place-kicking prospects in the state. Bonani also punts, averaging 42 yards a punt and booted a punt 60 of yards downed on the 6-yard line against DeSoto County HS.
"If we got anything, it's the best kicker in the state," Shafer said. "I've coached a lot of great kickers, and I think they should give him the MVP of the district. His kicking gives the other teams worse starting position."
The 5'9, 170 pound Bonani was a 1st team All-State, and 1st team All-District selection for class 3A football in 2006, and was coached his first two years at Lake Wales by former Bull Chad Barnhart who is now the OC at Weber, before Coach Shafer returned to coach the team.
"He wanted to stay in state, and it came down to USF, FSU, & UCF. He was glad to get the recruiting over with," Shafer said. "He doesn't want to go through the process any more, and he just wanted get it over with and concentrate on his senior year, education, football and just have fun."
The Bulls have been on Bonani for some time now, with Coach Wally Burnham and Head Coach Jim Leavitt making personal visit to see him in the spring. After the Bulls kicking woes this season, the staff made special teams a priority.
"He went to a couple of USF games including the West Virginia game and after that win helped secure his decision. He already had a connection with USF with Ben Williams and Chad Barnhardt, but was even more impressed with the personal visit by Head Coach Jim Leavitt. He thinks he has a good opportunity to play early at USF, and is very happy with his decision."
Bonani is a special player who last year kicked the ball 4 times through the uprights on kick-offs.
"He's great under pressure. He's only missed two field goals last year, one was blocked and one was a 62 yard attempt," said Coach Shafer. "The thing that makes him unique is he kicks off the ground. For Maikon, he's very confident and every field goal is a true field goal."
Bonani is a versatile all-around athlete and a three sport star, being named second team All County last year in soccer and was also a district and regional champion in tennis. He's also caries a 4.2 GPA and could end up being the class valedictorian.
With the inconstancy on special teams the Bulls are sparing no expense in upgrading the unit. They already have a commit from big leg punter Justin Brockhaus-Kann, and Bonani completes the package. Many may say why use another scholarship on a kicker that carries a 4.26 GPA and is a great preferred walk-on candidate. The answer is they tried that last year with kicker Michael Taylor, who ended up taking a scholly offer to play at Troy instead, and the Bulls weren't about to let that happen again.
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