In less then two months the next USF football class will be arriving on campus, and one player will be Kicker Maikon Bonani. In todays exclusive class of '08 interview find out, what type of a player he is, what team he is most looking forward to playing against, and much, much more. Only on USFNation.com! Get it First, Get it Fast!
Maikon Bonani Profile
USFNation.com: What have you been up to since signing day?
Maikon Bonani: Well I play tennis for the high school, and we went to state where we finished 5th. Besides that, I've just been lifting and getting ready for USF.
USFN: What where the main reasons you choose USF?
Bonani: Mainly because it's close to home, and I didn't want to travel far. Also Coach Leavitt was actually one of the very first coaches to come and see me during my junior year. They pulled me out of class, and he talked with me, and that showed a lot of commitment to me, and I wanted to show commitment in return.
USFN: Have you been following the Bulls this season?
Bonani: Yeah, last season I watched every game and went to a couple as well. Coming from brazil I really didn't know much when I got here, but looked at all the Florida schools, and when I found USF in Tampa I started to follow them.
USFN: How long have the Bulls been recruiting you, and who were involved?
Bonani: Since my junior year. I met Leavitt the one time and then after that Coach Burnham was my recruiter, they had a big impact on me for sure.
USFN: Do you know any of the current players on the Bulls?
Bonani: I don't really know them well, but met Delbert Alvarado and Mike Walsh on my visit, and then during the spring met Justin Teachey and met the kid from Lake Wales (Justin Brockhaus-Kann) at the banquet. I met a few others but don't really know them yet.
USFN: What position are the Bulls recruiting you for, and do you play any other positions?
Bonani: They're recruiting me kick-off and field goals strictly, but I can punt if called upon to do so.
USFN: What style kicker are you and what are your strengths as a player?
Bonani: I'm a soccer style kicker. In terms of kicking I can boot the ball, and have been pretty accurate. My junior year I went 16 for 19 on field goals, and in my senior year I battled a groin injury so my stats weren't as great. From 40 yards and in I'm pretty good and I got the leg. I can hit from 55-60 yards, but my goal is accuracy especially from 40 and in.
USFN: Do you think it will be hard adjusting to college ball?
Bonani: Not really, the hard part will be to adapt, it's faster off the snap, so I'll have less time and the field goals are a lot wider in high school. I'll also be kicking off from farther back. I put it through the end zone in high school, so I'll probably be hitting it to the goal line in college.
USFN: Is there anything that you would like to work on as a player?
Bonani: I want to get my strength going, stay flexible, and not get hurt.
USFN: What is your favorite thing to do on the field?
Bonani: Well I kind of like the pressure. It's that 50/50 chance of either being a hero or everybody hating you, but I like it. I also just like being around the players and being part of the team, it's a great felling.
USFN: What is the perfect play to you?
Bonani: As a kicker you always have pressure whether it's the first quarter where a miss could come back to bite you, or if it's the last kick of the game. I approach them all the same. This is my job and I have to make it. Lots of people see a kicker miss and say how can he miss that's all he does, but they don't know what its like. So I like just being in there with that chance.
USFN: What is your most memorable moment on the field?
Bonani: I have two. One time we were getting destroyed by Booker, and with 2 seconds left coach put me in and I hit a 55 yard FG, my longest in high school. In my senior year, I think against Titusville but am not sure. Early in the game I had a punt block that put them up by three, and then with 20 seconds left I went in and hit a 35-yard FG to tie the game up. That was rewarding because I thought I cost us the game.
USFN: Is there a player on another level, college or pro that you model your game after?
Bonani: Honestly I don't pay attention to other players because that makes me want to be like them instead of myself. So there are no kickers, but I do look up to players like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady for their poise and doing their job so well..
USFN: What are your current height, weight and 40 yard time?
Bonani: Right now I'm 5'10-5'11 and probably weigh around 170 right now.
USFN: Do you play any other sports, and will try to play them at USF?
Bonani: I also play soccer and tennis in addition to football. From what I hear football takes a lot of time and is tough so I don't think I'll play any other sport at USF, and just concentrate on football, and academics
USFN: What are you going to do to stay in shape before you get to Campus?
Bonani: I'm just going to train hard and lift. I've been training with some friends and by myself to just stay in shape, but I got the strength and conditioning book from USF and have just started to follow that.
USFN: If they ask you, do you have any issues with redshirting?
Bonani: No, not at all. If they decide that's what is best. I'm here for the team and my goal is to win the Big East. If that's their choice, then I'm good with that, I'm only a freshman.
USFN: What do they plan to accomplish while here at USF?
Bonani: I go off of Coach Leavitt's speech; you come to USF with the main goal of getting an education. I worked my but off in high school to get good grades and I really want to get an education, because you never know what might happen, you could get hurt. After education, my goal is to help be the Big East champion, and hopefully a National Championship.
USFN: What three things come to your head when I say USF?
Bonani: Wow I never really thought of it, but I say great School, a great football team, and being out of high school.
USFN: What team are they most looking forward to playing against in the next 4 years?
Bonani: Obviously West Virginia, especially after going to the game last season and seeing how everybody was. I hear were playing Miami so they'd be great to beat and I loved to beat the Gators in 2010.
USFN: What was it like attending the Bulls games and practices this past year?
Bonani: It was a lot of fun especially the games. The whole recruiting process is great, they give you tickets and say bring whoever. So I went with my family, and brought my girlfriend up and some friends so it was a great experience seeing the players and the whole environment.
USFN: What are your grades like?
Bonani: I'm pretty sure I'll be valedictorian with a 4.3 or 4.4 GPA
USFN: Are you excited to get to campus?
Bonani: Oh. I can't wait; you don't understand how excited I am.
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