Publisher's Notes: Every weekday until the LSU football team reports for Fall Camp on Sunday, Aug. 4, TSD will unveil another player in our top 50 Tigers for the 2013 season. We arrived at this list by combining individual rankings from TSD's Austin Cooper, Ben Love and Hunter Paniagua. For example, a player who received a No. 1 vote got 50 points, a No. 2 vote got 49 points, and so on. Every player who received votes had his points totaled across all three individual lists, and the result was our final TSD ranking. All players, including incoming signees, were eligible for selection.
No. 42 – P Jamie Keehn
If I'd told you yesterday the No. 42 player on our list was 6-foot-4 and 222 pounds, you'd have wondered which linebacker had grown three inches. But it's actually Jamie Keehn, LSU's (well-built) sophomore punter from Australia. He's the only player on TSD's top 50 who is exclusively a special teamer, although long snapper Reid Ferguson did receive one vote.
Keehn played in only two games as a true freshman in 2012, the opener against North Texas and the bowl game versus Clemson. On his 12 punts he averaged 43.7 yards and had three downed inside the 20. Against the Mean Green, he even scooped up an errant snap from Ferguson and, on the run, booted it rugby-style for a great bouncing effort given the circumstances. Keehn also has a very athletic background – having won national championships in high school for javelin and rowing.
By The Numbers
Keehn's highest ranking: 30th
Keehn's lowest ranking: 49th
Why this ranking is too high
He's a punter. It's very hard traditionally to consider a player at that position as one of the elite talents on any team. Then there's the sheer numbers as far as usage rate goes. Using Brad Wing's total statistics from 2011 (a better indicator than his 2012 season, when he missed two games), he punted 59 times in 14 games. That comes out to an average of 4.2 punts per game. How many other players on this list do you figure only factor in on 4.2 snaps in a ballgame?
Why this ranking is too low
On the other hand there are only 11 starters on offense and defense, so after the first 22 – and even several rotational players – who's to say a key special teams cog doesn't belong at No. 42, if not higher. Going back to the 2011 Brad Wing example: He may have only been used 4.2 times per game, but anyone who watched that team knows how critical he was in affecting field position. Wing's 44.4-yard punting average ranked second in the SEC and 11th nationwide. And that's not even considering how many balls he lob-wedged out at the three-yard line. If Keehn can recreate that magic, he's even more valuable than this ranking.
Discuss Keehn's ranking on our free board
View TSD's Top 50 to date
No. 42 - Jamie Keehn
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