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From humble upbringing to near perfection for Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo

There is no escaping the history for Florida State kickers. The FSU-Miami rivalry is synonymous with missed field goals, and the only memory crueler than Wide Right I, II and III is the irony of the kick sailing Wide Left in 2002, with Bobby Bowden once again left in disbelief, hands on hips.

The 2014 revival of this annual meeting has been pegged as the latest to come down to a field goal. Florida State opened as a 2.5-point favorite, its smallest spread since 2011.

There won't be any calm among Seminoles fans if the No. 2 Noles need a late field goal, but there should be confidence. The Seminoles have Roberto Jose Aguayo, who has become the country's best kicker, thanks in large part to a work ethic his father, Roberto, instilled in him.

It was an odd experience for a pre-teen Roberto Jose to stare at his own donated T-shirt while on a trip to a small Mexican town where alfalfa is harvested.

Video games and touch screens were obvious modern comforts that were foreign to like-aged boys in Capellanía, so Roberto Jose wasn't moved as children marveled and fiddled with his camera and Nintendo. Roberto Jose considered it an educational barter; he showed them how he killed suburban boredom outside Orlando, Florida, and in return they taught him canicas, a traditional Mexican game played with marbles.

But the T-shirt startled him. There was nothing distinct about it other than it was once his own and now part of a child’s ensemble that included ragged shorts and deteriorated shoes that succumbed to the arid terrain long ago.

“Every time we grew out of our clothes, my dad would pack a suitcase and send them over,” Roberto Jose said, “and when I went over there, I was like ‘Oh my god, I remember that shirt.’ ”

It is hard to humble an adolescent, but visiting Mexico and adopting the lifestyle of one of Capellanía's native sons -- his father, Roberto, among them -- changed perspectives for Roberto Jose. He saw where his father came from and how he overcame the punishing conditions, which is why the elder Roberto always felt a moral obligation to help his impoverished hometown. So those shirts Roberto Jose and his brother outgrew were rationed throughout Capellanía, where clean clothes are a luxury.

The visit's impact fostered an appreciation for his father’s tireless habits and remains with Roberto Jose, a Florida State sophomore and the reigning Lou Groza Award winner.

“He's talented,” Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher says, “but that guy puts the time and effort in to be a great player.”

There is not much for specialists to do outside game day. At the beginning of practice, Fisher stands behind Roberto Jose as he works on field goals. After three kicks, Fisher moves on.

Roberto Jose will still boot field goals, though, in working on a consistent kicking mechanic akin to pitchers repeating an arm slot. He practices the little things, such as laying up on kickoffs. He never wastes a moment.

His attention to his craft was passed down from his father, who hardly ever had time to relax around the ranch in Capellanía.

Roberto's parents forged a standard over years of working the land. His grandfather worked the fields while his grandmother stayed home. Breakfast was ready not long after sunrise. Then it was time to feed the livestock. Aguayo's grandfather would ride a mule to the alfalfa fields, cut a few plants, set it on the wagon and take it back for the cows and farm animals.

Roberto Jose's father carried those principles to Florida after forgoing professional soccer in Mexico.

"I came to the United States looking for a better life because the economic circumstances in Mexico were very limited," Roberto wrote in an email in Spanish. "… [Capellanía] was very difficult because of a lack of important resources. At first, as a child, we had no electricity, water, transportation and other things."

He landed a job as a foreman at a tree farm and worked 50-hour weeks. Yet on Saturdays, Roberto returned with his sons to run five miles along the dirt roads.

"I just wanted to hang by the pool with my friends, but he'd wake us up early, at 6 o'clock," Roberto Jose said. "He's out in the sun all day [at work], so I'm surprised he had the energy, and that motivated me. When people ask me how I have such a strong leg and this ability, I go back to those days."

If football is a religion in Texas, then youth football is a rite of passage in Florida. So as Roberto watched friends sign their children up for football, he did the same. As Roberto Jose showcased a natural skill striking the ball -- in football and soccer -- his father took a few long, metal poles and constructed a combination soccer goal slash football uprights that looked like an H.

"With all those reps over time and trying different styles, when I got to [Florida State], I could say I was finally close to being perfect," Roberto Jose said.

Perfection has barely eluded him through his first two seasons. He missed one field goal in 2013, the year he set the FBS single-season scoring record for a kicker, and has one miss this season. He holds the school record for most consecutive field goals made (23) and has converted all but two of his 174 kicks.

"My dad said, ‘It's news when you miss a kick,'" he said.

It's a short news cycle with him, though, and Florida State has the utmost confidence the Wide Rights and Lefts end with Roberto Jose because he has that same confidence in himself. He doesn't shy away from those opportunities, but rather, embraces them.

"I'm totally calm, totally relaxed, because I know the ball is in the best hands it can be in on our team," Fisher said in a September interview on "College GameDay."

"I'm 100 percent confident in Roberto," teammate Mario Edwards Jr. said. "I know he'll win the game for us."