Apocotos not giving up on NFL dream
The National Football League draft and the first week of free-agent signings have passed him by, but Dusty Apocotos isn’t ready to look for engineering work just yet.
The former Whittell High soccer star believes he can kick in the NFL and won’t allow the cold treatment from league GMs to discourage his dream.
“I thought something was going to happen,” Apocotos said. “I didn’t expect to get drafted. Before the draft I got a couple of calls from teams and they wanted to know where I was going to be on draft day.
“Not bringing me in (to a minicamp) is a little discouraging, but I know there are a lot of guys out there.”
Apocotos, who only missed four field goal attempts as a senior at UC Davis, believes a lack of exposure and kickoff hang time are preventing him from being signed.
“It’s kind of a bummer because in the past two to three weeks I finally made these improvements on my kickoffs. The films I sent out aren’t quite like that,” he said. “As far as my field goals, I think I can kick with anybody in the league; it’s a matter of making my kickoffs the best I can.”
To increase his exposure Apocotos is considering hiring an agent.
“I’m learning how the game really works,” Apocotos said. “A month ago, I got a call in the middle of the Arena league season and the Austin Wranglers said their kicker wasn’t doing so well. They said they were going to fly me out and possibly have me finish out the season. The guy said he’d call me back and he never did.”
Apocotos plans to send out game films to several Canadian Football League teams this week, but his primary focus is next year’s free-agent tryouts in Reno.
“That gives me a full year to develop my leg strength,” he said. “With an opportunity to kick in front of 30 coaches I should be able to impress some people.”
In only his second full season as the Aggies’ kicker, Apocotos only missed six kicks, connecting on 15-of-19 field-goal attempts and 32 of 34 extra points. His 15 successful field goals are the second most in school history and his 49-yarder was the seventh longest boot in team history.
Apocotos also made a 24-yard field goal and all three of his extra point attempts in the West’s 30-27 victory over the East in Whataburger Cactus Bowl.
If a football career doesn’t pan out, Apocotos’ recent degree in engineering should help him begin to pay off some of his debt.
“I’m going to take a little time off and when I get back I’ll have to start looking for an engineering job and start paying off my student loans,” Apocotos said.