Texas coach Charlie Strong’s charmed offseason continued Sunday when LSU kicker Trent Domingue announced he was coming to Texas as a graduate transfer, which makes him eligible immediately.
Last season with the Tigers, Domingue was a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, presented annually to the nation’s best kicker. And he was already on the Groza watch list for 2016.
Initially a walk-on at LSU, Domingue nailed 13 of 17 field goals last season and was 49 of 50 on extra-point attempts.
“Officially a Texas Longhorn! #HookEm,” Domingue posted on his Twitter account.
Domingue’s transfer had been rumored for weeks, but Strong had to be relieved to finally see it come true. “Great news to kickoff Sunday! #LetsRide,” Strong posted on his Twitter account.
At Big 12 media days, Strong didn’t seem to excited about his prospects at the crucial position. Walk-on punter Mitchell Becker was the only specialist Strong mentioned by name. During the spring game in April, Becker missed badly on a 46-yard field goal attempt. Afterward, Strong said, “Gotta get me one somehow.”
Fast forward to last week, and Strong wasn’t any more upbeat.
“I’m nervous, because you got to look for consistency there,” Strong said. “If you get the ball down there, you want to score points. You have to be effective. Are we going to be good from 25 (yards) in? Are we going to be good from 30 in? Where do we need to get the ball to give us points?”
Domingue was 10 for 12 on field goals under 40 yards. Departed senior Nick Rose was 9 for 10 from that range for the Longhorns in 2015.
It’s mind-boggling how Strong has been so blasé about the kicking situation, especially after kicking mistakes cost the Longhorns at least two games last season.
“The good ones committed early, so we weren’t just going to sign someone just to sign them,” Strong said at Big 12 media days.
Domingue became available after LSU coach Les Miles did not renew the kicker’s scholarship for 2016. “My career here at LSU has come to an end,” Dominique posted on Twitter earlier this month.