MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia will have an Australian punter after all.
After two straight summers of false innuendo that an Aussie punter would be joining the Mountaineers, one has finally arrived on campus.
He is graduate transfer Josh Growden, who spent the last four seasons at LSU. Growden did not report with the Tigers when they arrived at camp last week. A team source confirmed Growden arrived in Morgantown on Friday.
Growden fills an immediate void for the Mountaineers, who were unsure of how they would fill the position after Billy Kinney’s graduation. When asked about the punting situation earlier this week, Neal Brown responded with “Next question.”
Now Brown finally has a proper answer.
Growden started for LSU as a redshirt freshman, averaging 41.4 yards per punt as he was named to the SEC all-freshman team.
But after a mild slump in his sophomore season, Growden was replaced by Zach Von Rosenburg as the Tigers’ primary punter. Von Rosenburg, a former pitching prospect for the Pirates, walked on at LSU as a tight end before switching to punter.
LSU still used Growden as a specialist for punts inside the 50, which explains his seemingly poor numbers over the past two seasons. Growden averaged 34.9 yards per punt last year, but more importantly 12 of those 16 punts landed inside the 20. He averaged 36 yards per punt as a sophomore with 13 of 23 landing inside the 20.
LSU would have continued using Growden in the same role this season, but he elected to leave the program and start anew.