He continues to be concerned about his thin offensive line a week and a half into preseason camp, but there’s at least one fewer thing for Ed Orgeron to worry about — for now, anyway.
The LSU coaching staff’s quest to find a replacement for kicker Colby Delahoussaye has boiled down to a two-way battle between redshirt freshman Connor Culp and walk-on Jack Gonsoulin, a sophomore, and it couldn’t be tighter with three weeks to go until the season opener Sept. 2 against BYU in Houston.
Orgeron noted Wednesday that his kickers are “neck-and-neck” at this point as they continue to compete for the opportunity to handle field-goal and extra-point attempts.
It’s so close, Orgeron said, that nothing separated Culp and Gonsoulin in the Tigers’ first scrimmage Saturday. Both kickers were 5-for-5 on field goals, with their longest makes coming from 43 yards.
Gonsoulin said he and Culp are taking turns going with the first-team field-goal unit, and it was Culp’s turn to go with the first teamers Saturday. Punter Josh Growden was the holder for both.
“(Culp) went out there with our first field-goal team and knocked down five in a row, and I went out there with our second field-goal unit and knocked down five in a row,” said Gonsoulin, a Catholic High grad. “Pretty good day for everybody involved. It makes our job easier when the snap is perfect, hold is perfect.”
“Yeah, it was a good day,” added Culp, who noted the kickoff job is also open, with senior Cameron Gamble joining the two in that fray. “We only went back to 43 yards, but our general rule of thumb is we try to be 100 percent from 45 in. That being said, most of our kicks are going to be 45 and in, so our main goal is to be 100 percent.”
Last season, Delahoussaye, a senior, was 11 of 12 from 45 yards and in, his only miss a 39-yard try against Louisville in the Citrus Bowl. In 2015, Trent Domingue was 13 of 15 on field-goal attempts of 45 yards or shorter.
Even though the goal is to be as accurate as possible from that distance, both kickers are comfortable from more than 50 yards — Culp from about 54 yards and Gonsoulin from a yard farther back.
“I think, at this level, coaches want to see a guy who’s money from 45 to 50 and in,” Gonsoulin said. “A guy with a big leg is a luxury, but me and Connor, I’m confident in both of our leg strengths.”
Quarterback Myles Brennan is good enough to start at LSU as a freshman, coach Ed Orgeron sai…
More Les on TV
Les Miles begins his role in the media this fall on SEC Network.
The network announced Thursday that Miles will be a guest analyst during Week 1 on "SEC Nation," the network's traveling pregame show. The show is originating from Arlington, Texas, on Sept. 2 ahead of the season opener between Miles' alma mater, Michigan, and Florida.
Miles told The Advocate on Wednesday night that he’s considering several television opportunities and that he expects to serve as an analyst and color man during games this fall. He declined to reveal specifics, aside from confirming that he visited the Fox studios earlier this month in California.
Updated 10:25 a.m. Thursday
Tigers lose CB commit
One of the nation’s highest-rated cornerbacks pulled his longtime commitment to LSU.
Nadab Joseph, a 2018 prospect from near Miami, announced his decommitment Thursday on Twitter. Joseph had been committed to the Tigers for 14 months. Most recruiting outlets now have him leaning toward Alabama. He's the 24th-best cornerback in the class and a top-50 player in Florida.
Joseph is the fourth LSU commitment this summer to rescind his pledge. LSU’s class now stands fifth in 247Sports.com's team rankings with 19 commitments.