Troy’s Solomon ready for the kicking spotlight

Published 10:26 pm Wednesday, September 25, 2013

By Danielle Percival

When it comes down to game time, focus is everything especially for a kicker.

For sophomore kicker Jed Solomon, his first task on Saturday was to drown out the deafening sound in Davis-Wade Stadium.

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“In pre-game, I heard the cowbells. It was loud, and it wasn’t even a packed stadium yet,” Solomon said. “When I went out there to do the kickoff and the extra point, I don’t even remember hearing it really.”

This wasn’t just another game for Solomon though.

With kicker Will Scott only punting due to an injury, Solomon has stepped in to fill the roles for kickoffs, field goals, and PAT’s.

“It’s really the same reason that we changed it last year,” special teams coordinator Shane Wasden said. “When Will’s well he has the stronger leg, but Jed does a good job kicking for us so it’s not much drop off.”

Scott had not been able to kick much in practice and since the injury was not one experienced during the Mississippi State game, Solomon had warning.

“He [Scott] just didn’t hit it well and he’s not been able to practice kicking so we decided it would be better for all concerned if Jed handled it,” Wasden said.

“I knew all week it was going to be me so I had a good while to get prepared for it. I worked more with Kendall and Brett on getting our timing down,” Solomon said. “The one time we did have was really good. I was hoping for a little more than that.”

The Trojans only put 7 points on the board but that means Solomon scored his first point as a Trojan on the PAT.

Though he had a week’s notice that he would be in action, the Valdosta, Ga., native’s family was unable to be in attendance.

“My dad was at my cousin’s wedding, my mom was at Buffalo Wild Wings watching back home.” Solomon said. “My dad couldn’t really get out of it because it was his niece. My mom was like ‘I don’t know, that’s kind of far for me.’ I was like ‘well, it’s on TV so you can watch it.’”

Even though his dad had other responsibilities he was able to tune in to see his son in action.

“He watched it live until the second half,” Solomon said. “He saw everything except my second half kickoff which was my best one so he kind of missed out on that.”

Saturday was not Solomon’s first game experience though.

He took over kickoff duties in the seventh game of the year in 2012 and recorded 11 touchbacks.

Gaining even more game experience will be beneficial for the sophomore who will be taking over the kicking duties next season.

“It helps a lot just going ahead and seeing the pressure and what I’m going to have to deal with and what it’s like inside the game,” Solomon said.

Wasden is hopeful that Scott will be able to return to a more prominent role in the Trojans special teams.

“We hope with this time off that he’s able to get well and that he’s able to at least kick field goals for us,” Wasden said. “We have confidence in Jed and he does a good job when he’s in there.”