LSU's Alleman with a big shoe to fill
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU junior kicker Drew Alleman has drilled a game-winning field goal in the Superdome to win a championship before. Alleman's 32-yarder at the gun lifted his Acadiana Wreckin' Rams to a 13-10 victory over Sulphur to capture the 5A state title. And we all know where this year's BCS national championship game is, right?
"It's what I'm looking forward to," Alleman says, "Every day at practice, we prepare every kick as a game-winner. Whether it's the national championship, Alabama, Auburn or Oregon. That's what we visualize."
Since that pressure-packed kick in December of 2006, Alleman really hasn't been under the gun since. He kicked off seven times for LSU last year and had a couple of punts for the Tigers the season before. But he has yet to attempt a field goal at the collegiate level.
"At practice I'm hitting kicks well. That's really building confidence." Alleman continues, "I believe that eventually the coaches will have the confidence in me to try a 52, 53-yard field goal."
Alleman says his goal is "to make every field goal 45-yards in" and says he's hit from 57-yards in the past. But performing on an empty practice field or in an empty stadium is one thing. But what about when the lights come on? Is that when you really see if Alleman can make the kicks or not?
"Yeah, if you don't turn on the lights, you can't see him", head coach Les Miles joked, as the room erupted into laughter at media day Tuesday.
But all kidding aside, Miles addressed the question.
"His freshman year, he's not ready to kick. He hadn't shaved in three years, and had to take a deep breath in his chest. But now he's one of the leaders. He's a guy I have tremendous confidence in."
It's not the kicks you make, it's the ones you miss that are the most important, according to the coach. Miles says it's how quickly you move on from the misses, which is so crucial to a kicker's success. And the coach believes Alleman "has that ability".
The former Wreckin' Ram certainly knows he doesn't have an easy act to follow.
"Colt David, Josh Jasper, those are the two best kickers to ever come through LSU. They have all sorts of records."
Indeed they do. David is the all-time leading scorer in LSU history with 369 points. Jasper is the Tigers' record-holder in field goals made in a game and season. He made 28 of 34 attempts last year, with no issues of nailing tries from 45 yards and beyond. But let's not forget David Browndyke from the late 80's, who's the all-time leader in field goals made and consecutive extra points made. As a matter of fact, Browndyke never missed a PAT, making all 109 tries.
"I think I'm ready to go," Alleman says confidently.
And on a lighter note, there's another big legacy David and Jasper leave behind.
"Yeah, they always think kickers are the pretty boys," Alleman laughs, "But I'm not worried about that. I'm just focused on making field goals."