Mo Isom did not make the LSU football team, but her quest to become the second female player in major college football is not over.
Isom, a former goalkeeper for the LSU women's soccer team and this year's homecoming queen, tried out for coach Les Miles last week as a placekicker, but Miles announced Tuesday evening that her efforts fell short. However, he encouraged her to improve and try out again when the team reconvenes for fall camp in August.
"We reviewed her skill, the things she can do and do well," Miles said after Tuesday's spring practice. "We kind of felt like there's four guys on the team right now that would be ahead of anybody that tried out the other day, including Mo. I told her that today.
"She's going to go back and concentrate on extra points and field goals. She did not want to take that she couldn't make the team. She said, 'Do I get another opportunity if I get a lot better.' I said 'Sure.'"
Miles said it wasn't the kicking that kept Isom off the team it was the tackling. Miles wasn't confident that Isom, who is 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, could become a suitable defender once the ball was kicked off. Moreover, the Tigers return their top two kickers in Drew Alleman and kickoff specialist James Hairston.
"She's a great person but there's some things she can't do and she knows it," Miles said. "We go to kicking off into the corner, we count on our kicker making some tackles and it's just not something I'm comfortable she's ready to do. It's one of those spots you really can't put a person that cannot tackle."
Isom, who scored a 90-yard goal off a free kick against BYU in 2010, said she's not ready to give up her dream. She vowed on Twitter to continue working through the spring and summer and that she'd give it another go in the fall. She even received words of encouragement from Alleman on Twitter despite the fact that she was trying to take his job.
"Congrats to Mo Isom and her efforts. She never gave up. A true champion never does. Continue to work and improve," Alleman wrote.
Isom thanked Miles for the opportunity and the constructive feedback and vowed on Twitter that her time with the LSU football team was not over.
"There is still much to this journey & I will not give up on my dream."