The battle, however, figures to be far from over. The competition this spring was tight. In fact, Thursday's practice illustrated just how close: Each of the three, on his final field goal attempt of the day, was perfect -– with room to spare –- from 49 yards out.
PENNER VS. STANFORD LAST FALL.
Rooney played two years at El Camino, where his coach called him a "special talent." As a freshman in El Camino's 12-2 championship season of 2006, Rooney kicked off 71 times, averaging 57.6 yards per boot. Six of those kickoffs were touchbacks.
Throughout this spring, kickoffs appeared to be the part of the game where Rooney truly set himself apart. He's consistently been booting most balls roughly 65 yards, with solid hang time. Penner and Myers can equal the distance, but not as consistently and with less air time.
Penner, a freshman walk on last season, handled much of the Cougars' 2007 kickoff chores, while Abdolmohammadi had PAT and field goal duties.
THE COUGS DEVOTED a good portion of Thursday's practice time to special teams. The kick return unit showed several different looks at the returner spot, with Brandon Gibson lined up alongside Romeo Pellum, Daniel Blackledge lined up with Alfonso Jackson, and Chris Ivory getting reps with both Gibson and Blackledge.