Kicking Into Gear

With punter Derek Helton and kicker Josh Jasper headed into their final year with the program, the Tiger staff is in the market for a special teams prospect. After last week's kicking camp at LSU, head coach Les Miles pulled the trigger and offered Indiana's Kyle Christy.

In route to a kicking camp at the University of Iowa, Kyle Christy did his best to sum up what the past month of his recruitment has been like.

“My leg’s starting to feel like it might fall off,” he laughed. “I have been on the road seeing different colleges pretty much non-stop. I’ve gone and worked out at LSU, Indiana, Ohio University, Cincinnati and Northwestern. Then I still have to go to Iowa, Iowa State, Florida and Boston College.”

Two weekends ago Christy and his father traveled to Baton Rouge for the Les Miles Football Camp’s opening day, which served as a workout session exclusively for kickers and punters.

Given that Christy left campus with an offer in hand, it goes without saying that his afternoon spent punting and kicking on the Ponderosa was a good one.

“(Special teams) Coach (Joe) Robinson told me that I pretty much put on a clinic out there,” said the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Christy. “He really liked my kicking, and that’s when we started talking about the scholarship. The furthest field goal I tried was from 60 (yards), and I went just left. At 55 (yards) I had plenty of length. Then I hit a few punts that were over 50 yards with around five-second hang times.

“It was what I went down to the camp hoping for, but I’ll admit that I didn’t expect (the offer). I wasn’t sure what their whole situation was like.”

Josh Jasper, who handled all the kicking duties and also worked as the punter on short distances last fall, is set to graduate after the 2010 season. The same goes for JUCO transfer Derek Helton, who looks to lock up the starting punter job for the second straight season.

To find a leg after their departure you have to skip down to sophomore Drew Alleman, who has punted only twice during his two years with the program, and incoming freshman Brad Wing.

“When I talked with coach (Les) Miles and coach Robinson, both of them said that I would be in a pretty good spot at LSU, because by the time I get there both of the starters for this season will be gone. That gives me a chance to compete for a starting spot right away.”

The trip was Christy’s second to Baton Rouge.

During last November’s overtime bout with Arkansas in Tiger Stadium, the Brownsburg, Ind. native was one of the 90,000-plus fans that erupted when the Tigers secured the 33-30 win.

“It was just amazing,” said Christy of the Death Valley atmosphere. “Everyone was going crazy the entire time, and then it got really loud down towards the end. I had never seen anything like that.”

For LSU, it wasn’t a bad time to host a special teams talent.

Jasper tied a school record with four field goals, including a 36-yarder in overtime, to lift the Tigers over the top.

“I definitely thought about what it would be like to get down on that field, in front of all those people, and hit a winning field goal like that,” Christy said. “Now that I’ve gotten the scholarship offer, I might get that chance.”

With LSU the lone program to have extended a scholarship, Christy isn’t hesitant to put the Tigers at the top of his list. However, the Hoosier State’s top kicking prospect won’t be ready to make a decision until next month.

“I still want to take a little bit of time so that I can look at some other places,” Christy said. “After all my camps I will sit down with the family and make a decision.

“I liked pretty much everything about LSU, and I learned a lot more about the academic side on the last trip. It all seemed like a good opportunity for me.”

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