WVU Adds Punter To 2019 Football Roster

WVU Adds Punter To 2019 Football Roster


After a pair of aborted attempts to add an Australian punter to its roster, the West Virginia football team has finally landed a foot from Down Under.

Josh Growden, previously of LSU, entered the transfer portal on July 31 after attending LSU for four years and playing  three seasons for the Tigers. His entry into the portal was first reported by the Baton Rouge Advocate, while his move to West Virginia was first reported by Alex Hickey of the Morgantown Dominion Post.

Josh Growden

Following a redshirt season in 2015, Growden punted 57 times in 2016, but saw that number fall to 23 in 2017 and 16 last year. As the full-time punter in 2016, he averaged 41.4 yards per attempt efore transitioning to the team’s short-range punter last year. He put 12 of his 16 attempts inside the 20-yard line as a redshirt junior, and has parked nearly 50 percent (47 of 96) inside the 20 in his career.

Growden (6-2, 200 lbs.) will have one year of eligibility remaining after lettering in the last three of his seasons of play at LSU. A native of Clare, South Australia, Growden was a four-time All-SEC Academic Selection, and a member of the 2016 SEC All-Freshman team as selected by the league’s coaches.

Growden did not have a punt blocked in his 96 tries at LSU. Prior to attending school in the U.S., he was a member of the Greater Western Sydney Giants in the Australian Football League (AFL). According to his LSU bio, he gave up “footy” as the uniquely Australian sport is known and joined Pro Kick Australia, the premier training organization for US football kickers in that country.

Growden bolsters a WVU punting roster that includes freshmen Kolton McGhee and eEighton Bechdel, who have beeen vying for the job during the first week of fall camp. Senior Evan Staley, listed as the first punter on the preseason depth chart, indicated recently that he will be concentrating on placekicking and kickoffs this year.

                 Josh Growden Punting Statistics

Year Attempts Yards Avg Long Inside 20 Blk
2015 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2016 57 2357 41.4 68 22 0
2017 23 827 36.0 53 13 0
2018 16 559 34.9 47 12 0
Total 96 3743 39.0 68 47 0

 

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  • #95218

    WVU Adds Punter To 2019 Football Roster After a pair of aborted attempts to add an Australian punter to its roster, the West Virginia football team ha
    [See the full post at: WVU Adds Punter To 2019 Football Roster]

    #95219

    Did we ever hear why Australian punter number 2 didn’t come?

    #95220

    Did the Australian punter ever sign a LOI?  Ever set foot in Morgantown?  His name seemed to fall off everybody’s list.

    #95235

    WVU thought he was coming until the very last moment, and then he decided not to.  Frustrating turn of events. He did not ever make it to WVU.

    That said, the addition of Growden helps things. McGhee has a good resume, and Bechdel had a few god boots in the time I was able to watch him. Between them, WVU’s punting might not be stellar, but it should be sufficient for this year.

    #95253

    He found out that we didn’t have  vegemite in WV……..shipping costs are prohibitive.

     

    #95254

    Max Hayes was the punter from Australia who committed to WVU this summer. He was always a walk-on, so he didn’t sign any binding LOI. WVU was under the impression he was going to come all summer, but at some point shortly before camp, Hayes decided to stay home and not enroll. That started the process of looking for another punter to provide more competition at the spot, and that search, which the help of the ProKick instructors in Australia, led to Growden.

    #95269

    He found out that we didn’t have  vegemite in WV……..shipping costs are prohibitive.

     

    Good one!

    That reminds of when WVU was recruiting Lowes Moore in hoops. He asked if there was a beach nearby, and was told yes, that Myrtle Beach was a destination point for all West Virginians. The distance apparently did not come up.

    #95328

    Wow, Brown’s comments suggest we had nobody else that was even serviceable. This isn’t a bit of a coup!

    #95344

     

    NickyGaspipe wrote:
    He found out that we didn’t have  vegemite in WV……..shipping costs are prohibitive.

    Not so fast there Nicky……..Available at most Walmarts

    https://www.walmart.com/search/?query=vegemite&&adid=22222222224307257100&wmlspartner=wmtlabs&wl0=e&wl1=s&wl2=c&wl3=10365645740&wl4=kwd-64004479624:loc-190&wl5=62678&wl6=&wl7=&wl14=vegemite&veh=sem&msclkid=1aa79fe3110915a19111c2b3c189be5d

    #95358

    Wow, Brown’s comments suggest we had nobody else that was even serviceable. This isn’t a bit of a coup!

     

    Mex, I’m not sure I’d stretch it that far, although there was enough concern to make sure another punter was brought in. McGhee and Bechdel are both freshmen, so getting someone with DI experience was important.

    I watched them for a couple of short stretches in practice. Neither was crushing the ball, and consistency was an issue, but their good kicks were ok. Granted, that’s a long way from doing it in a game. Blake Seiler mentioned that line drives kicks were the #1 killer for special teams, and that hang time was his #1 goal, so going from that you can probably deduce that hang time has been an issue.

    We won’t see them this year unless there is an injury, so we don’t know if the freshmen would have been ok this year or not. The important thing is they get a year to work and strengthen, and hopefully be ready to compete next year.

    #95398

    Getting word that Growden has been booming the ball in his first day on the field

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