Going into the season placekicker Troy Van Blarcom (6-3, 200, 4.8) from Orange (Calif.) Lutheran was recognized by many as the nation’s No. 1 kicker. He was an early commit to USC and everything was right with Van Blarcom’s world.
Then like a thief in the night most of Van Blarcom’s season was taken way from when he tore his ACL and had to have surgery.
One of the reasons that USC has been playing so well in the last few years, outside of terrific coaching, is the type of players the Trojans bring in.
USC has done a great job evaluating intangibles, such as having a winner’s heart.
That is exactly what Van Blarcom has, a winner’s heart. Because of his hard work and dedication all summer long Van Blarcom has made a tremendous comeback.
Just before he came back, Van Blarcom worked out with kicking guru Chris Sailer and obviously it worked.
Van Blarcom had his ACL surgery on June 18th and the youngster is already back in action helping his team.
Though Van Blarcom is not at 100% yet, the doctors cleared him to play with a knee brace on.
Last week in the game that would decide who the league champion would be Van Blarcom Troy made a 54 yard field goal. Remember Van Blarcom isn’t even at full strength and hit the 54-yards. He has made 18/19 extra points (he missed one left in the first game back). His kick off strength is also returning.
Orange Lutheran won the championship game last week and is the top seed in the upcoming CIF SS playoffs for Division VI.
Sailer had the following to say about his star pupil in an earlier interview with Rivals.com.
“This kid is one of the best in the country,” Sailer said. “The kid is amazing.”
What are the Trojans getting in the strong legged Van Blarcom? Out of 74 kickoffs, 60 kickoffs were 60 yards or better, 31 of his kickoffs were 70 yards or better.
That is a super weapon. That means 60 of his kicks ended up making the opposition start at the 20. Van Blarcom’s average kickoff was 67 yards.
Van Blarcom was 62 out 63 on PAT’s and hit on six field goals out of nine attempts with a long of 45 yards. He was selected all-CIF, all-county and second-team all-state for his junior season performance.
When Van Blarcom chose the Trojans back in April he had other offers from ASU, Missouri and Alabama; Notre Dame and Wisconsin were showing a lot of interest.