Mo Isom, a former goalkeeper on the LSU Tigers women's soccer team, has completed her first day of tryouts with the school's football team. Vying to make the team as a kicker, Isom has one day of tryouts remaining, with head coach Les Miles expected to make a decision on Thursday, August 23. After not making the cut in March, last year's homecoming queen is now hoping for a positive result in her second chance.
LSU does not exactly have a need at kicker this year. Senior Drew Alleman is returning after a great season in 2011. Alleman made 16 of his 18 field goal attempts, while his 62 extra points led the nation. He ranked fourth in the country with 110 total points and should be able to repeat last season's success.
The Tigers also currently have three other kickers on the roster: sophomore James Hairston and freshmen Colby Delahoussaye and Trent Dominique. Still, it appears you can never have too many kickers ready. As an LSU fan, I would hate to see my team's coach end up like Tennessee's Derek Dooley, who last year had to send a police escort to a frat house minutes before kickoff to retrieve a kicker. But you just never know how things will work out. Injuries happen and options are always good.
Obviously, the fact that Isom is female sets this story apart from any other college tryout taking place this week. However, there shouldn't be any difference. If she kicks well enough to make the team, or at least be placed on a list of reserves, she should be rewarded for her talents. Even if it means sending a police escort to a sorority house, I want my team's coach to have the best players in uniform at all times.
Isom would not be the NCAA's first female kicker. Katie Hnida played for New Mexico for two seasons, missing an extra point in 2002 before making two of them in 2003. But if Isom is successful and gets a shot to join a team who played in the BCS Championship last season, her story would certainly stand out.
I am hoping Miles makes the best decision for the Tigers and keeps players who prove they can contribute to a winning team. If Isom is capable and earns a roster spot, Tigers fans will surely welcome her.
Mike Patton is a sports fan who grew up in New Orleans cheering for the New Orleans Saints, Chicago Cubs, and LSU Tigers. As a kid in 1987, he made his first trip to Wrigley Field and also slept outside of the Louisiana Superdome to purchase playoff tickets for the Saints' first postseason appearance. Follow Mike on twitter @MikePattonGBS.
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