Former Lassiter goalkeeper wants to kick for LSU

Mo Isom is trying to become the fourth female to score in a college football game.

Mo Isom is trying to become the fourth female to score in a college football game.

Mo Isom knows the odds are long, but with what she’s overcome in life, becoming LSU’s first female placekicker might not seem such a tall order.

Isom, who starred at Cobb County’s Lassiter High and has been the goalkeeper for the LSU women’s soccer team for the past four seasons, will continue a two-day tryout Wednesday. She tweeted about her first day’s performance Tuesday:

“Good 1st day of tryouts. Great initial height & good accuracy, just need a little more power from distance. Time to rest up & prep for tomorrow!”

And later:

“It’s hard to sleep when you’re living your dreams.”

LSU Coach Les Miles told the NOLA.com website that he didn’t see Isom kick Tuesday, but will be briefed by assistant athletic director Sam Nader.

Miles is expected to announce a decision on Thursday.

Isom tried out during spring practice and failed to make the team, but Miles promised her she could try again in the fall.

Isom, 22, has a tough task in front of her, trying to beat out Drew Alleman, a second-team All-SEC kicker last year. But her goal is to get a roster spot and become only the fourth female to score in a college football game.

Isom says she regularly makes field goals from 50 yards, but realizes the odds are long. It would be “naïve of me not to realize the odds are stacked against me”, Isom told NOLA.com.

“What I can control is going out there and performing the best I can perform and leaving the decision up to the coaches, if there is a strength they see (in me) that would contribute to the team,” Isom told the Times-Picayune website. “That’s how I would want it to be. I don’t want to be handed anything because I’m a girl trying to play a man’s sport.”

Still, the prospect of making the team pales in comparison to the other challenges she’s faced in life. Isom credits her Christian faith for helping her overcome an eating disorder, her father’s suicide and a 2010 wreck that left her with cracked vertebrae and broken ribs.

As a goalkeeper, she holds LSU’s all-time record with 43 wins, including 30 shutouts. At Lassiter, she was 40-9-1 and was named the AJC Player of the Year her senior season.

She’s also LSU’s homecoming queen.

You can follow Isom on Twitter at @MoIsom.

60 comments Add your comment

Tanisha Green

August 22nd, 2012
4:58 pm

She is a good athlete, but as pointed out…our kicking staff is loaded this season. Mo tried out in spring training, and was fairly consistent with PAT’s and short field goals. To kick a FG past the 25 yard line, she had to kick the ball awfully low. I don’t see her beating out any of the four kickers we already have, because all four of them could be the number one place kicker on most Div I teams. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Coach Myles let her kick a PAT or two in a blowout game, but she insists that she doesn’t want that. It would be a bit patronizing, and I admire her for having that much character.

Alphare

August 22nd, 2012
5:06 pm

This Mo is no regular Joe. She is a 6′1″ 170 pounder.

Geaux Tigers!

August 22nd, 2012
6:19 pm

Drew Alleman was a walk-on a few years back but he has a booming leg. LSU also has a young guy behind Alleman who is pretty good. No chance Mo makes it but I’m glad Les gave her a couple of shots.

VOLcano

August 22nd, 2012
6:33 pm

Give her a shot–great. She makes the team–great. What happens in the locker room afterwards? Does she get her own private area not only at home games but at the visiting stadiums of opponents? Where about locker room comraderie and team building? What other concessions would be necessary? I’m not against the girl or anything, but what do the other LSU players think about this and what exactly does this prove? She knows that she’s not the best player for the position, will never be the starter, has no professional aspirations athletically, but wants to score in a game? So she is hoping to make the team, that the starting kicker gets injured somehow, and she gets a chance to fulfill a dream? I just don’t get the motivation here.

Know It All

August 22nd, 2012
9:44 pm

Enter your comments here

If Miles is smart he will cut her as soon as possible. Remember Colorado. But Les has never been accused of being smart. Just lucky.

ATL4LSU

August 23rd, 2012
9:38 am

I am a DIE HARD LSU FAN and we all want to see Mo succeed.
What a great story here.
What if she does make the team, rides the bench all year, LSU is in BCS Championship Game, first string kicker gets hurt, Mo is called on to field to kick game winner with 10 seconds left from 40 yards out, IT’S GOOD! Tigers WIN! Tigers WIN! Tigers WIN!

Tanisha Green

August 23rd, 2012
2:04 pm

@ ATL4LSU
re: 9:38 a.m.

That would be nice, ATL…but the trouble is, LSU has four kickers on the team who are legitimately better than Mo. So before she gets the call, the first, second, third, and fourth string kickers would all have to get hurt.
I admire Mo greatly, and am real proud of her for trying out. She’s a serious athlete, and a very fine young woman. But unforunately she has little chance to really earn a spot on the team…in part, because we (LSU) has such a strong group of kickers this season. And if Coach Miles does carry her on the team, it will be because she was a female who worked hard…and it’s good publicity. But Mo has already stated that she doesn’t want to make the team as an attention-getting stunt, because it would be patronizing. And that…to me…says about as much about her character as anything.

J

August 24th, 2012
9:19 pm

It’s sexist when women can’t try out for a man’s team. If a man tries for a female then there’s a problem. Sounds like a double standard.

Lakeisha Jackson

August 25th, 2012
11:06 am

Just saw a story that Mo Isom had been cut from the LSU team. Apparently the other kickers outperformed her in a “kick-off”, and she also had some trouble making some tackles in “corner kick” situations. She handled it well, considering the disappointment, even giving a shoutout to the other kickers on Twitter to thank them for their help and cheering them on for the coming season.

You have to be proud of both Mo Isom and LSU for the way this went. She got a tryout and an honest chance to make the team, but fell just short. And so she was cut, like any OTHER player who tried out and didn’t make it. LSU treated her like an ATHLETE, in other words, and not like a PR stunt. If they had kept her on the team as a novelty, patting her hand and saying “Look, everybody…we got a GIRL on the team!” it would have been the most patronizing thing they could have done.

Good job Mo for giving it everything you had, and good job Coach Miles for respecting her enough to treat her like any other player.

Joe Bob Thibodaux

August 25th, 2012
4:19 pm

Mo made an 80 yard goal as a freshman.

Geaux Mo!

LSU FOREVER

JBT