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Huskers adding walk-on graduate transfer kicker from LSU

Huskers adding walk-on graduate transfer kicker from LSU

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Auburn LSU Football

Connor Culp (34) kicks a game-winning field goal against Auburn in 2017 in Baton Rouge, La.

Associated Press file photo

Nebraska is adding another walk-on kicker to its ranks, but this one has some high-level Division I experience. 

Former LSU kicker Connor Culp is set to join the Huskers as a graduate transfer, he confirmed to the Journal Star on Friday. Culp is expected to be a walk-on for the fall semester. 

Culp was the Tigers’ starting kicker in 2017 and made 11-of-16 field goals and 20-of-23 extra points, a freshman season highlighted by a 42-yard game-winner against Auburn. 

He split duties late in the year, though, and then lost the job to a pair of standouts in Cole Tracy (2018) and Cade York (2019). 

Rivals first mentioned that Culp was planning to walk on at Nebraska. 

Vedral says transfer decision was tough, leaves for Rutgers 'with a lot of love for Nebraska'

When a canceled spring ball thwarted Noah Vedral’s plan to push for the starting job, he knew it was time to make a move. 

Culp told the Journal Star that senior special teams analyst Jonathan Rutledge recruited him to Nebraska. Culp was the first LSU player to put his name in the NCAA’s transfer portal back in January after the Tigers’ national championship season ended. 

The Huskers have added several walk-on specialists to the mix so far this offseason, including Iowa Western Community College transfer Chase Contrerez — who was on campus for spring ball before it was shut down — and high school recruits Tyler Crawford and Ryan Novosel.

NU has seen major turnover in its kicking game this offseason after using six place-kickers over the course of a tumultuous 2019 campaign. Sophomore Barret Pickering was injured and then uneven before leaving the program after the season, and a host of walk-ons struggled, too. The only bright spot was Matt Waldoch, a sophomore who won a tryout spot off of the club soccer team and then made all four of his field-goal attempts late in the season. He decided to go back to soccer, too, despite an invite to stay on the team. 

“That’s a place where we need some new guys to come in,” coach Scott Frost said back in March. “We are waiting on a few of our commits and recruits from last year to come in and give us depth and more talent at certain places. Certainly kicker has been an issue for a little bit around here. We are not in the best place right now. I think coach Rutledge has some ideas for how to address those things.” 

Culp became one of those ideas, and so the Huskers add a former SEC starter to the mix days after adding a 2020 scholarship punter in Australia’s Daniel Cerni. The newest additions are likely to be considered the favorites to cover NU’s place-kicking, punting and kickoff duties in some combination.

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.

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