LSU head football coach Les Miles appears to have settled on a kicker.
"I think Delahoussaye is the starter, extra points and field goals," Miles told the media Tuesday evening.
That would be redshirt freshman Colby Delahoussaye from New Iberia High School. Delahoussaye apparently has done enough to distance himself from fellow redshirt freshman Trent Domingue of St. Paul's High School in Mandeville.
Junior James Hairston will continue to handle the kickoff duties, after driving 43 touchbacks deep in 149 tries the last two seasons.
"James certainly has the better leg," concedes Delahoussaye. "He can certainly drive it."
But if LSU and TCU are tied in the final moments, it will likely be Delahoussaye called on for the potential game-winning kick. He admits he has certainly envisioned such dramatic situations.
"But it's one kick at a time. Your first kick will likely be an extra point or shorter field goal."
Delahoussaye is certainly following a long line of very successful kickers. Special teams under Coach Miles have been noticeably better than they were under Nick Saban, with kickers like Colt David, Chris Jackson, Josh Jasper and Drew Alleman all having strong careers.
Jasper made an LSU career record 83.9% of his field goals from 2008-10, but Delahoussaye's favorite Tiger kicker is David Browndyke, who was a perfect 109-109 on extra points from 1986-89.
"He was also perfect on field goals his senior year." And Delahoussaye would be right, as Browndyke hit 14 of 14 in 1989.
So can this new kid get it done?
"You have to have confidence," Delahoussaye says, "On the field, off the field. Your mindset has to be – I can do this."
Tiger Stadium can certainly be a very challenging place to make field goals. Former LSU kicker John Corbello, who made 50 of 77 attempts with the Tigers from 1999-2002, used to joke Death Valley was a bit haunted.
"The wind swirls," concurs Delahoussaye. "On the field, it really swirls. Saturday we went out there to kick. When I got on the field to lace up my cleats, the wind was blowing straight with me. When I went to kick the ball, it went the exact opposite way. You have to zone yourself out of your surroundings and get it done."
And apparently he did, saying he was 5-5 on field goals in that LSU scrimmage with a long of 44 yards. The youngster with just enough Cajun accent to give away he's from the Acadiana area, also has a sense of humor too. Like when speaking about his #42 jersey.
"I think I resemble Michael Ford a bit. I'll take the #42," joking with a smile.
But Delahoussaye laughs that his high school coach would always keep him grounded.
"He used to always joke with me, Colby, you're just the kicker."
Meanwhile the new boss has certainly had difficulty pronouncing his name.
"He would say – ‘Hey! DEL-uh-WHO-see-ay'!", Delahoussaye jokes of Coach Miles. The kicker recalls that Miles would ask each day if his pronunciation was getting any better.
"You're almost there." The kicker would chuckle in reply.
For the record, it's pronounced Dell-uh-hoose-ay. And he's ready to live his dream as a Tiger.
"We have such great coaches out here. It's great inspiration, just the history of LSU."
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