Georgia LSU Football

LSU place kicker Cole Tracy (36) celebrates a field goal with LSU punter Josh Growden (38). Growden is set to join WVU’s roster on Saturday.

Louisiana State University graduate transfer Josh Growden, a 26-year old former Australian Football League player, will join the West Virginia University football team on Saturday.

WVU confirmed to the Gazette-Mail that Growden, listed at 6-foot-2 and 199 pounds on LSU’s 2018 roster, arrived in Morgantown on Friday and is set to join the Mountaineers on Saturday.

Growden, a native of Australia, had a career-high 57 punts in 2016 for the Tigers, averaging 41.4 yards per punt and landing 22 of his kicks inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. He saw less playing time in 2017 when he was replaced as LSU’s starting punter by former West Virginia Power pitcher Zach Von Rosenburg and even less in 2018 when he attempted 16 punts and was used mostly in short-yardage situations.

West Virginia has had two commitments from Australian punters fall through in the last two seasons. The most recent one came just in the last week as 26-year old Max Hayes had committed to the Mountaineer but did not arrive on campus for preseason camp.

Prior to Growden’s arrival, the only punters active during the Mountaineers’ preseason camp have been true freshmen Kolton McGhee and Leighton Bechdel, a walk-on.

Growden could also see playing time as the holder for WVU, a job he also had at LSU. West Virginia has been using quarterbacks Jack Allison and Trey Lowe as holders in practice, but neither has much experience at the position.

Contact Tom Bragg at tom.bragg@wvgazettemail.com or 304-348-4871. Follow him on Twitter @TomBraggSports. Read Tom’s WVU sports blog at http://blogs.wvgazettemail.com/wvu/