LINCOLN, Neb. - Nebraska kicker Mauro Bondi welcomes the high expectations. He might as well because they're unavoidable.
A line of accomplished kickers have come to Lincoln before him, and he's determined to add his name to the list alongside Kris Brown, Josh Brown, Alex Henery and Brett Maher.
Henery and Maher combined to make an astounding 84 percent of their field goals the past five seasons. The national average over that span was 69 percent.
A wide smile crossed Bondi's face and he spoke excitedly when that statistic was brought up after a practice this week.
"Ninety-nine percent of the kickers who leave here go to the NFL," Bondi said, exaggerating for effect. "As a kid, you want to go to the NFL. Seeing Alex go, and Brett probably is going to go, that gives you hope that if you work hard enough here, you might be able to go to the next level."
Bondi will go into his sophomore season with a lock on the kicking job and will have it for three years unless someone beats him out. He also is auditioning to punt.
He lost out to Maher in a competition for the kicker's job two years ago but appeared in the second halves of four easy wins. With Maher the undisputed No. 1 kicker in 2012, coaches redshirted Bondi to save a year of his eligibility.
Now he's eager to show off the strong leg that made him a scholarship recruit out of Boca Raton, Fla. Special teams coach Ross Els said he hopes Bondi doesn't get caught up in trying to out-do his predecessors.