How LSU football picked up a commitment from Ascension Episcopal punter Badger Hargett
LSU football has had the Honey Badger, also known as Tyrann Mathieu, stalking Tiger Stadium.
Pretty soon it’ll have the Punty Badger booming footballs into the nighttime sky.
Ascension Episcopal senior punter Badger Hargett committed to LSU last week, deciding to take a preferred walk-on offer from his favorite college football team over scholarship offers from the likes of Tulane, Louisiana Tech, Alabama State and Alabama A&M.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to play for them,” Hargett told The Daily Advertiser. “I would say every Louisiana kid wants to play for the LSU Tigers. I believe they’re a really great program and I do believe they’re going to make a run at the playoffs over the next four years.
“I want to help with that.”
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This past season with the Blue Gators, Hargett averaged 45.5 yard per punt with a long of 60 yards and had 11 punts downed inside the 20. His performance put him on the radar of LSU special teams coordinator Brian Polian, who in January had Hargett come over to Baton Rouge for a workout.
After what he called a good workout, Hargett (5-foot-10, 175 pounds) has been training with Ascension teammate and Georgia signee Peyton Woodring as well as former Louisiana football punter Rhys Byrns, as part of 1-on-1 Kicking Camps, to improve his punting during game-like situations, distance and directional drills.
Hargett said that working alongside Woodring, who signed with Georgia in December, helped pushed him.
“It definitely set a competition at our practices," Hargett said. "Peyton pushed me to be my best self. When he told our sophomore year that he wanted to be the best specialist in the nation, I looked at him like he was crazy. It was a grind. He pushed me the be better than great.”
It will be that competition and the work ethic -- like waking at 6:15 every morning for workouts with Woodring -- that will best position him to get to LSU and earn the second-string punter position and ultimately a scholarship, Hargett said.
“My mentality has always been my No. 1 thing that I train," Hargett said. "You can’t step out on the field and expect to do great things if you’re mentality’s not there. I’ve worked on it over the years.
"I’m really prepared to go to LSU and compete for that spot. I think I’m mentality and physically prepared for that.”