Soccer standout, homecoming queen tries out for LSU football
Ex-LSU soccer star Mo Isom would like to bring her kicking talents to one of the best football programs in the nation.
March 9th, 2012
04:57 PM ET

Soccer standout, homecoming queen tries out for LSU football

Mo Isom already has been quite a presence at Louisiana State. The first LSU athlete to be voted homecoming queen, she was one of the top goalkeepers in the Southeastern Conference for four years, displaying not only useful shot-stopping skills but also the type of powerful kicks that score goals from the other end of the soccer field.

Now she’s trying to show her kicking power translates to that, ahem, other kind of football. The one on the gridiron, where LSU fields one of the best programs in the country.

Isom, a 21-year-old whose collegiate soccer career wrapped up last fall, is one of a few students trying out for placekicker on LSU's football team - last year's national championship runners-up - this month.

She faces gigantic odds. LSU is returning its starting field goal kicker - Drew Alleman, who tied for the nation’s best field goal percentage at 88.9% last year - and kickoff specialist James Hairston.

But she made some long field goals and deep kickoffs in tryouts this week, and she says she’d be ready to take some big hits in one of the nation’s premier football conferences, the SEC.

“Do you see my size?” Isom told CNN affiliate WBRZ on Thursday, the second day of placekicker tryouts at LSU. “Everyone thinks that I am the average size and weight of a female. I am 6-foot-1, almost, and weigh about 190 pounds. Yes, I just said that on camera. It is all muscle."

Six-foot-one, 190 pounds. That almost compares favorably to star LSU cornerback Tyrann "Honey Badger" Mathieu, whose 5-foot-9, 175-pound frame was all he needed to terrify opposing offenses for two years.

“I can take a hit. I’m just fearless,” she said.

LSU head coach Les Miles has said it’s unlikely the team will take a walk-on kicker, unless that kicker is exceptional, The Times-Picayune reported Friday.

In a news conference this week, Miles said Isom would be considered “if she gave us an opportunity and an advantage."

“There has to be an advantage to the team,” Miles said. “The good thing about this is that she’s an athlete. She’s been through team before, and she understands commitment. I would have much less reservations with her than I would with any number of other people who frankly didn’t know what they were getting into.”

Miles said he had no timetable on making a decision on tryout placekickers.

An LSU video posted on YouTube this week shows Isom hitting a 40-yard field goal indoors.  She said she struggled with outdoor kicking on Tuesday because of the wind, but hit two 50-yard field goals on Thursday, The Times-Picayune reported.

Isom recorded 30 shutouts and a 43-17-9 record in 69 starts for the LSU women’s soccer team from 2008 to 2011.

She would be far from the first female kicker to make an NCAA Division I team. Women who’ve made such teams include Ashley Martin, who in 2001 became the first woman to score in a Division I-AA football game, and Katie Hnida, whose two extra points for New Mexico in August 2003 made her the first woman to score in a Division I-A contest.

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Filed under: College football • Football • Louisiana • Sports
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Portland tony

    No doubtt she could kick with the best of them. Problem is on faked field goals or extra points she would have to get into play as a blocker or passer. Then to, if her kick were blocked she'd have to play defense All kickers get, on occasion, banged up.

    March 10, 2012 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
    • rj

      I'd get "banged up" by her anytime.

      March 10, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      If she's 6'1", 190, she can handle herself as well as any male kicker on unusual plays.

      March 10, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Clever

      Someone needs to get her a big man sized dress to wear. Cookin' and warshin' is women's work. She needs to leave the kickin' of the field goals to the good ol' Louisiana boys.

      March 10, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. louis barrett

    Just how many years of college athletic eligibility does a student athlete get? Doesn't the article say she spent four years playing NCAA soccer?

    March 10, 2012 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
    • sw6blues

      It is possible to be a second year senior. People go to college for more than 4 years you know. She might need just the fall semester's worth of classes to graduate in December. The system is set up that way sometimes.

      March 10, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      NCAA eligibility last 5 years but you can only do the same sport for 4.

      March 10, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  3. LSU DIVA

    Geaux Mo !! LSU Nation is behind you .. cant wait to order my MEAUX jersey !!!

    March 10, 2012 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. Keys1

    The way Alabama wiped the field up with them, I thought the team already had female players.

    March 10, 2012 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Whoa ho ho!

      Oh yeah! Great rip!

      March 10, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. GeoInSD

    If she can perform, then great. But I think this is a non-story. Why is this being covered? She apparently has no experience in football, at least none worth mentioning. So what if she is a soccer player? When I was in high school we had a guy who was an exceptional soccer player. He was recruited for the pros straight from high school. The football coach brought him in thinking he would be a great American football kicker too. He wasn't even average as an American football kicker. Not all "kicking a ball" are alike.

    March 10, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      you are right. i was goalie in hs, and the coach coached both and talked me into trying out.

      it is a completely different kick/punt. both in form and style. and the wind plays with them differently.

      not to say it can't be learned, but it can be hard to break old habits..

      March 10, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  6. scot pederson

    Saw the video. Good leg strength for a girl, but I don't think the 2 guys on LSU now have anything to worry about their jobs.

    I could kick 45 yd FGs in my day and that still was not good enough to get on an elite College team like LSU.

    March 10, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. Take your lumps if you will

    OK, so she makes the team. We're all "equal", right? (happy ladies?)

    But no whining from the feminist crowd the first time she gets nailed by a 280 lb. D-end and carted off to the hospital on a stretcher, okay?

    March 10, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • PleaseUseLogic

      Your point is not a point. She's 6'1" and 190lbs after years of running sports. She's larger, heavier and perhaps has more field experience than the average kicker. She's not even the first female to be an NCAA D1 kicker. Not even the second... or the third. "She would be far from the first female kicker to make an NCAA Division I team. "

      March 10, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • b3tt

      Okay.

      March 10, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      @ PleaseUseLogic, It is a well known fact that women cry "foul" when injured. So your point is moot.

      March 10, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  8. im still laughing

    oh you woman crack me up. when will this end huh? get freaking real. Even with the hormone taking and working out one fact remains your a girl and your bodies arent made for the brutality of combat or contact sports with men. period. She will be bulldozed down and carted off the first time she has to stop a returner. She would be a distraction and a liabilty to the team. Sorry ladies but this is where the line is drawn.

    March 10, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • PleaseUseLogic

      Didn't read the article, huh? "She would be far from the first female kicker to make an NCAA Division I team.:"

      March 10, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • b3tt

      Oh, well, I guess she just shouldn't even try then. (Sigh) When will we ever learn to start listening to what men tell us is best?

      March 10, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • R. Williams

      She's 6'1 and 190 pounds, as well as being extremely athletics. She's better equipped to face this 'brutality' than you are. 🙂

      March 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Phil in Oregon

    Been saying it for years. If women are equal to men they need to play on the same field, the same court, by the same rules.

    March 10, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  10. El Flaco

    Football causes brain damage. I hope this young women will reconsider. Everyone I know who played football in school has one or more old football injuries. With my brother, it's his right knee and lower back. It is not a sport. It is a brain damage contest.

    March 10, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. bob

    I would take a penalty and cheap shot her for sure. Need to welcome her to a man's sport. The minute she get's nailed really hard, people will complain and the media would do a story. If she get's hurt then it's all her fault and no one else is to blame.

    March 10, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • El Flaco

      What if the opposition coach is paying players to injure her? The old saying in sports is, "If you ain't cheating, you ain't trying."

      March 10, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  12. Cajundood

    Come on guys...give the lady a shot. I agree with Les (Mad Hatter) Miles though...it has to be for the good of the "team " and not just a publicity stunt or to placate the feminists.

    March 10, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  13. Chad

    She needs to kick her own butt back into the kitchen....where she belongs.

    March 10, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      ...and Chad needs to post his own butt back into his ManCave...where he belongs.

      March 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. johnny

    If she does well kicking she should be able to play! So what if she is a girl that's what's wrong with the world always seperating the men from women! We are all equal ppl

    March 10, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yepyep6598

      Since we are equal lets put a woman in the UFC lets see how that pans out since most of these idiots believe because of a woman size and athleticism is to her advantage.

      March 10, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    Why make such a big deal of this just because she's a female instead of one of the jock males ? Sounds to me like some of my brethren are feeling threatened. If they think she is good enough to do the job, let her try.

    March 10, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
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