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Female kicker getting a chance from LSU football coach Les Miles

Scott Levin's picture

To Les Miles, a good football player is a good football player, whether male or female.

That's why the head coach for the LSU football team is giving Mo Isom, a female at the school, a chance to be the team's kicker.

Isom, who spent four years as the goalie on the LSU women's soccer team, tried out for the football team Tuesday and will participate in more workouts Thursday. Despite her time on the soccer team, Isom has one year of college athletics eligibility and hopes to use it as a kicker on one of the nation's top football programs.

According to reports, Isom's kicking tryout Tuesday was affected by heavy winds but nonetheless, Isom managed to boom some kickoffs between the 5-yard-line and the goal line, a respectable feat for any kicker. There was no word on how Isom did kicking field goals, but last August while working out with the team's punter Brad Wing, Isom reportedly kicked a 51-yarder.

During the 2011 season, LSU kicker Drew Alleman's long was 44 yards. He connected on 16-of-18 field goals and was a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, given annually to the top college kicker in the nation. He has one year of eligibility remaining.

Miles seems to have no reservations about bringing a woman on to the squad. The coach believes Isom's experience on a college team would help her easily transition to the football squad. And for Miles, whose Tigers lost in the BCS National Championship game, anyone who can help the team will be welcomed.

That attitude is a far cry from one of the last coaches who encountered this situation. In 1999, Katie Hnida, a female at the University of Colorado, spent time on the football team as kicker. Though she never saw game action, she did suit for some games, including the 1999 Bowl.

However. after Hnida left the school, she made allegations that she was molested and raped by players on the team. This prompted head coach Gary Barnett to go on the defensive, claiming Hnida was "terrible," "awful" and "couldn't kick the ball through the uprights." Barnett's insensitivity earned him a suspension.

Isom hopes that people won't see this as a publicity stunt. She wants to earn her place on the roster. Isom is already a semi-legend on campus for an incredible goal she scored as goalie for the soccer team. From 90 yards away, Isom blasted a kick that bounced over the opposing goalkeeper and into the net. The video for that goal can be seen below.

Miles says that a decision on Isom's future with the team will probably not be made until August.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Video Source: YouTube (wstaff2)

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