LSU kicker commit Cade York takes to heart lessons from Cole Tracy
By Glen West
In November of 2017, Cade York figured he would likely end up playing college soccer at SMU or Appalachian State, but that all changed when earned the No. 2 ranking as a kicker in Kohl’s December kicking camp.
The Prosper, Texas, native connected on 13-of-16 field goals at the camp while booting multiple 50-yard punts, resulting in the high ranking. And his brain immediately flipped from soccer to pursuing a scholarship in football.
York received offers from Minnesota and Air Force before garnering some serious interest from LSU — with whom he plans to sign Wednesday.
Most of his conversations with the Tigers came from special teams coordinator Greg McMahon, while also receiving calls from Ed Orgeron as being “priority No.1” on special teams.
While LSU has had no issues with kicking this year, thanks to graduate transfer Cole Tracy, the recent history has not been so kind.
Tigers' kickers combined to finish the 2017 season 16-for-27.
So Orgeron and McMahon recruited Tracy from Division-II Assumption College to Baton Rouge.
And the senior drilled 25-of-29 field goals in the 2018 season with a long of 54 and a 42-yard walk-off at Auburn.
“I wish I had him another year,” Orgeron said throughout the season. “I feel good about the kid. I know his character. I watch him practice. I watch him prepare. There was no doubt in my mind that he would make it.”
Now comes York's opportunity to fill those big shoes and, he hopes, continue to flip the script of those recent struggles between the goal posts.
“I want to be the best at what I do,” he said. “So if I’m better at what I’m doing in football rather than soccer, that’s what I want to do.”
York has made two visits to Baton Rouge, once in the spring and again two weeks ago.
He spent the most recent trip with Tracy, who showed him the ropes of life at a new school and new environment.
“He came in and arguably had the best year for specialists in all of college football,” York said. “It was cool to hear his input, like his mental approach is very strong, which you need as a kicker.”
The biggest piece of advice York said Tracy gave him was “whenever you miss a kick, the next kick is the most important.” That’s a statement York took to heart as Tracy didn’t miss back-to-back kicks all season in route to one of the top seasons by an LSU kicker in program history.
“All your fundamentals and never let yourself miss two kicks in a row,” York said. “He gave me a lot of great advice on how to go about things and to not worry when you miss a kick because everyone’s not perfect.”
Current players are not allowed to comment directly on recruits, but Tracy was able to hint at his general thoughts as a host to a potential future Tiger.
“You’re allowed to give them some insight on what it’s like when the coaches aren’t there,” Tracy said. “You kind of get to give a player’s perspective and get to relate to them. Really you get the opportunity to tell them what to expect and what the team is like.”
York hopes to instill the same amount of confidence in the coaching staff as Tracy has established.
He describes himself as a perfectionist, not stopping at a certain task until he feels he’s mastered it. This is a trait that can be attested by his mother, Keisha York. Whether it’s on the football field or in the classroom, Keisha said Cade is very driven to be the best at what he’s doing.
“He’s never satisfied with where he’s at,” Keisha said. “He works really hard to be better and can be pretty hard on himself if he feels he’s not achieving his goals or standards. He’s been super easy to parent because I’ll say ‘OK, that’s good,’ and he’ll be like, ‘Nope, that’s not good enough.”
Said Cade: “I work hard and I am a perfectionist which is probably one of my greatest strengths,” York said. “I want to be so perfect that it gets to me sometimes so that’s something that I think I’ll have to work on over the next few months. Accepting that nobody’s perfect and just to learn from those experiences.”
Cade said the whole recruiting experience has been surreal because he figured for a long time soccer would be his way into college sports.
While the reality of being an LSU kicker still hasn’t quite set in, he’s certainly excited for his first game in a Tiger uniform.
“Just getting the opportunity for people to see what I can do is what really excites me,” York said. “To get to help the team out in front of 104,000 people is a blessing. If I had gone back two years ago I never would’ve thought this would be possible.”