Cole Tracy knew that he wanted to go to college football’s version of The Show–a Power 5 FBS school–a year ago when he was handling the kicking duties for Assumption College, a tiny (2,000) Division 2 liberal arts school in Worcester, Mass.
Tracy had come across the country from California and made a name for himself in three seasons at Assumption, setting every kicking record in school history, which was topped off by making 27 of 29 field goals, an accomplishment which earned him the Fred Mitchell Award, given to the top kicker at the FCS level.
So last fall, encouraged by his teammates and the Assumption coaching staff, Tracy, who would graduate from Assumption with a year of eligibility remaining, started to look around and prepare himself for his next move.
During practice, Tracy would make field goal attempts while those surrounding him, only a few feet away, jeered, sprayed him with water bottles and did anything to distract him.
It didn’t matter. Tracy handled it because he was focused on getting to the next level.
At first, he was focused on Oklahoma State, then he received a call from LSU. Tracy thought it was a joke. “”LSU?” he asked. “”You mean the Tigers?”
Indeed it was, and without even visiting the campus, Tracy headed south with big ambitions.
In his first game as LSU opened its season against Miami at the Jerry Dome in Arlington, Texas, Tracy kicked three field goals in a stunningly easy LSU win.
But the real test of coverage and talent came on Saturday when LSU opened its SEC season at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium before a crowd of 101,601, which was more people than Tracy had played in front of during his entire career at Assumption.
Tracy was perfect throughout the nail-biting game, making all three of his field goal attempts.
But then it was crunch time. Only a few seconds remained, with LSU trailing Auburn 21-19.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron had the clock wind down to a few seconds and then called a timeout, sending Tracy out for a 42-yard attempt, hardly a chip shot, especially considering the atmosphere and what was at stake.
But Tracy made it look easy, booting the game winner, an accomplishment which delighted seven LSU fans so much they sent $500 in donations to Assumption College in Tracy’s name.
“”There was no question in my mind that he was going to make it,” said Orgeron.
Tracy said he was prepared for the ending. “”You could feel it,” Tracy told the Baton Rouge Advocate after the game “It (the game) was leading this way, that it would come down to a kick.”
Which is exactly what happened, which was more than enough reason to make Cole Tracy TMG’s Newsmaker of the Week.