GS’ Koo among best place kickers in the country

Robert George

It’s been a tough season for the Georgia Southern football program, and a tough way for the senior class to go out. At 4-7 and with just one game left, they won’t be going to a bowl game.

However, one bright spot from this season has been the performance of senior place kicker Younghoe Koo. He has been the most consistent weapon for the Eagles this season, as he’s knocked in 19 of his 20 field goal attempts. He’s also been money from the extra point mark, making 23 of his 24 attempts. Overall, he leads the team in scoring with 81 points this season.

For his consistency and accuracy this season, he has been named as a finalist for the Lou Groza Award, which is given annually to the nation’s best place-kicker. He is going up against Daniel Carlson of Auburn and Zane Gonzalez of Arizona State.

When asked about his success, Koo is always quickly deflect the praise to his teammates and coaches. Without the snapper and holder doing their job, he wouldn’t get a chance to kick and without the confidence of head coach Tyson Summers, he wouldn’t be in the position he’s in at all, according to Koo.

He said he is going to try and play in the NFL, but right now he’s focused on Senior Day and the matchup with Troy.

“I just try to think in the present,” Koo said. “Whatever happens, happens. I can just control what I do on the field. I’m just gonna embrace every moment I can with these guys for the last time.”

Koo has switched back and forth between place-kicker and kickoff specialist for GS in his four years. In total, he’s knocked in 83 PAT’s and 31 field goals in his GS career. He was voted to the SoCon All-Freshman Special Teams in 2013 for his efforts and been named to multiple Academic Honor Roll lists.

He’s also no stranger to the spotlight, having made Sportscenter’s Top 10 last year for a back-flip field goal he made after practice one day. Looking back on his career, Koo said he had no idea he would be in this position when he came down to Statesboro from his high school in New Jersey, but that he was glad to be able to go through all of it with this group of seniors.

“I can’t even describe all the emotions I have,” Koo said. “I just have to thank all the people that got me here. All these years we’ve been through so much. We just want to soak in every moment and enjoy each other.”

Photo courtesy of Mick Miller.