Dig Baton Rouge

You never appreciate the kicker until you don’t have one

In the preseason, one of our biggest concerns for the LSU football team was kicker, punter and the lack of a special teams coach in Baton Rouge.

Punting fared itself out OK and all things considered, LSU managed to escape without a special teams coach in better shape than many expected in August.

But kicker was a mess and that’s putting it nicely, which is why so many LSU fans were excited on social media a few days ago when worked leaked about the future of the position.

It’s no secret anymore that LSU has received a verbal commitment from graduate transfer kicker Cole Tracy – one of the top available players on the market for next season.

Tracy is unlike any high school kicker the Tigers could have signed. He’s a proven commodity.

He is transferring in from Assumption College in Massachusetts where he was recently named the Fred Mitchell Award Winner, which goes to the nation’s top kicker that’s not in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

He’s a good one.

Tracy banged home 68-of-84 kicks in his career with Assumption, including two, separate games with six or more made tries.

Last year, Tracy exploded and became a phenom, making 27-of-29 field goals and all 67 extra points, including several kicks over 50 yards.

Tracy will have one season of eligibility left in 2018 and he’s likely to overtake LSU’s kicker position immediately, which likely won’t take much if the incumbents don’t drastically improve in the offseason.

In 2017, the Tigers have relied heavily upon Jack Gonsoulin and Connor Culp. Both guys have enjoyed high moments, but both have also had painstakingly low moments, as well, including several short misses and unsuccessful extra points.

LSU finished the regular season 15-of-24 on field goal tries, which ranks No. 103 in the nation.

Several times throughout the season, coach Ed Orgeron said bluntly that he didn’t have faith in either guy, adding multiple times that he wanted to recruit the best kicker in the country to LSU in the offseason.

Tracy hasn’t yet stepped foot on campus, but it sure looks like Orgeron made good on his promise.

Kickers are unappreciated commodities in college football – until, of course, you don’t have one. Then, they become invaluable.

Tracy will fill a huge need in this recruiting class and he just may end up being one of the biggest gets in the entire offseason.

Image: Cole Tracy / Twitter

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