Career: Team's starting place-kicker for two seasons ... Finished his career ranked fifth on NU's all-time field goals made list with 33 ... His .750 conversion percentage (33-of-44) ranks first among all NU players with 20 or more made field goals ... Scored 166 career points, fifth-most by a kicker at Northwestern ... Graduated in June of 2008 and played final season as a graduate student.
2008: Fifth-year senior ... Honorable mention All-Big Ten selection ... Tied for third in Big Ten in field goals made (20) and ranked eighth among all Big Ten players in points per game (6.9) ... Tied for 13th nationally in field goals per game (1.54) ... Tied for 73rd nationally (among all players) in points per game ... In 2008 Alamo Bowl vs. Missouri, hit 1-of-2 field goals and 2-of-3 extra points ... Hit 2-of-2 FGs vs. Illinois (28, 24 yards) and 1-of-2 PATs ... Saw his streak of nine consecutive games with a field goal come to an end at Michigan, where he did not attempt one ... Hit on 3-of-3 PAT's at Michigan ... Connected on 1-of-1 FGs (25 yards) and 1-of-1 PATs vs. Ohio State ... Converted 1-of-2 field goals (34 yards) and 3-of-3 PATs at Minnesota ... Successful on 2-of-2 FGs (25 and 26 yards) and 1-of-2 PATs at Indiana ... Converted 2-of-3 field goals (26 and 29 yards) and six PAT's vs. Purdue ... Booted two field goals and a pair of PATs vs. Michigan State ... Missed first field goal attempts of the year at Iowa -- had first attempt blocked and missed a second one ... Did convert a 37-yarder for NU's first points ... Against Ohio, kicked field goals of 33, 46 and 23 yards and was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week and team Special Teams Player of the Week ... Established a career high with four field goals against Southern Illinois (35, 33, 18 and 20 yards) and was 3-for-3 on PATs on a rain-soaked Ryan Field, earning team's Offensive Player of the Week honors ... His four field goals in a game are tied for second-most in NU history with Tim Long (4 vs. Michigan, 2000), Brian Gowins (4 vs. Hawaii, 1998) and Sam Valenzisi (4 vs. Michigan, 1995 and 4 vs. Minnesota, 1993) ... Totaled a single-game-best 15 points vs. the Salukis ... Converted a 35-yard field goal and all three PATs at Duke ... Converted all four PATs vs. Syracuse.
2007: Won the team's starting place-kicking job and made a successful debut vs. Northeastern ... 3-of-3 on PAT attempts and 2-of-2 on FG attempts (25 and 35 yards) ... Remained perfect against Nevada: 4-of-4 on PAT attempts and 2-of-2 on FG attempts (46 and 29 yards) ... Hit both PAT attempts against Duke ... Became the first NU place-kicker in five years to boot three field goals in a game (vs. Michigan) -- 27, 49 and 27 yard field goals ... His 49-yarder vs. Michigan was a career long ...His third field goal came as time expired at the end of the first half, giving NU a 16-7 halftime lead over Michigan ... Hit 6-of-7 PAT's and missed his season's first FG attempt (game-winning 36-yard attempt at end of regulation) at Michigan State ... Converted all seven PAT kicks against Minnesota, but was unsuccessful on his two field goal attempts (21 and 37 yards) ... Hit two FG attempts and two PAT attempts vs. Eastern Michigan ... Booted both PAT kicks and an 18-yard FG at Purdue ... Nailed a 42-yard field goal and two PAT attempts vs. Iowa ... Hit 1-of-2 FG attempts and all four PAT attempts vs. Indiana ... In his first full season as NU's kicker, went 12-for-18 on field goal attempts and 36-of-37 on PAT kicks ... Named team's special teams player of the game twice (vs. Michigan and Eastern Michigan) ... Ranked eighth in Big Ten field goals made per game ... Team's leading scorer with 72 points.
2006: Did not see action.
2005: Attempted his first college field goal attempt vs. UCLA in the Sun Bowl and converted a 31-yard attempt ... Also kicked a PAT against the Bruins ... Also booted 12 kickoffs during the season.
2004: Did not see action.
High School: Named a first-team all-state and all-conference kicker/punter in 2003 ... In the 2002 and 2003 seasons, converted 14-of-21 field goals, 45-of-51 PATs and averaged 62.7 yards per kickoff, with 39-of-55 reaching the end zone ... Also played defensive back for the Pirates and notched 80 tackles and three interceptions ... Booted three field goals (30, 35, 37) in one game ... During his junior and senior seasons, the Pirates went a combined 20-3, reaching the first round of the playoffs his senior year and the state quarterfinals his junior year ... Team won the conference title in 2002 and finished as league runner-up in 2003 ... Three-year letterwinner ... Ironman Award winner ... Nominated for Wendy's High School Heisman Award ... U.S. Army Reserve National Scholar-Athlete award ... Also lettered in track and field, helping the Pirates' 4x400 and 4x800 relay teams reach the state championships ... Placed eighth in the state meet in the 800-meter run ... Coached by Randy Penn.
Personal: Born Luis Amado Villarreal ... Son of Luis and Nancy Villarreal ... Sister, Elena, competed in track and cross country at Stanford ... Earned his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering ... Earning a master's degree in project management (McCormick School of Engineering).
The Villarreal File
Q: Name five favorite songs (and artist) on your I-Pod:
A: Bittersweet Symphony -- The Verve; 24 - Switchfoot; Return of Tres -- Delinquent Habits; Mas Que Nada -- Sergio Mendes & The Black Eyed Peas; Hallelujah -- Newsboys
Q: If you could dine with anyone from any period in history, who would it be?
A: Jesus Christ
Q: What is the greatest lesson in life that you have learned?
A: The secret to success is hard work and perseverance.
Q: A song that best describes you?
A: Lover -- Nevertheless, not the title the lyrics
Q: Something people would be surprised to know about me is:
A: I love to dance to hip-hop and salsa music.
Q: My favorite place to visit is:
A: Home in Colorado
Q: Which current NU football player is the biggest jokester on the team?
A: Chris Malleo
Q: My favorite thing about NU is:
A: My friends and the experiences I've had with them.
Q: Best part about being a Northwestern football player is:
A: Being part of the team and getting to experience everything from practice to bowl games.
Q: Describe Coach Fitzgerald in five words or less:
A: Driven, focused, and encouraging
Q: Most humbling experience:
A: The 2006 football season
Q: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
A: Coming in and making a field goal and extra point in the Sun Bowl against UCLA
Q: The best book I have ever read is:
A: The Bible
Q: The person that inspires me the most is:
A: My parents
Q: When I played football as a kid, I pretended to be:
A: John Elway
Q: My favorite pregame ritual is:
A: Listening to music, reading the word and saying a prayer.
Q: If you could have a starring role in any film already made, which movie would you pick?
A: The Sandlot and I'd be Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez; some people say I look like him.
Q: My favorite food is:
A: Mexican, mostly tacos and beans and rice.
Q: My favorite thing about playing at Ryan Field is:
A: Being at a field where the fans are on your side versus away games where everyone wants you to lose.
Q: Best thing about Northwestern is:
A: The people
Q: My ultimate SportsCenter highlight would be:
A: Kicking a game-winning field goal as time expires
Q: My favorite television show is:
Q: If I were not playing football, I would be:
A: Running track
Q: My football-related superstition is:
A: Putting my uniform on the same way every time. It's not really a superstition it just kind of happens naturally the same way every time.
Villarreal's Career Stats
SCORING G TD Rush Pass Retn PAT 2PAT FG Total Avg/G
2005................ 5 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 4 0.8
2007................ 12 0 0 0 0 36 0 12 72 6.0
2008................ 13 0 0 0 0 30 0 20 90 6.9
TOTAL............... 30 0 0 0 0 67 0 33 166 5.5
FIELD GOALS G Att Made Lg Pct
2005................ 5 1 1 31 100.0
2007................ 12 18 12 49 66.7
2008................ 13 25 20 46 80.0
TOTAL............... 30 44 33 49 75.0
TACKLES G UA A Total TFL-Yds PD FF FR Blkd
2005................ 5 1 1 2 0.0-0 0 0 0 0
2007................ 12 0 1 1 0.0-0 0 0 0 0
2008................ 13 0 0 0 0.0-0 0 0 0 0
TOTAL............... 30 1 2 3 0.0-0 0 0 0 0