Charlie Strong has finally filled the void to the one gaping hole in his roster. Former LSU Tigers kicker Trent Domingue will transfer to the Texas Longhorns, according to an announcement made on his Twitter. The fifth-year senior will have immediate eligibility for the Longhorns for one season.
Great news to kickoff Sunday! #LetsRide— Charlie Strong (@Strong_TexasFB) July 24, 2016
The school confirmed the news that Domingue has signed a financial aid agreement with the Longhorns.
"We're obviously thrilled that Trent decided to join our program," Strong said. "What a great addition in a critical position of need for us. Trent's an experienced and proven kicker who has had a great deal of success at the highest level and competed in pressure situations. He'll be a strong leader on our special teams, and we look forward to getting him on campus."
Advertising is the graduate program of choice for Domingue after receiving a degree in general business from LSU. The Lou Groza award semifinalist said that a Tigers connection to the Longhorns helped influence his decision.
"I've always known that Texas has been a pretty storied program, both academically and athletically," Domingue said. "I knew coach Brick (Haley) from LSU, and he's a big reason why I had interest in Texas initially. I'm really excited to get there and start training and getting to know everyone. Coach Strong is great and seems like a players coach. I think it will be an awesome time playing for him."
Haley also helped the 'Horns land four signees from Louisiana in the 2016 recruiting class, including defensive tackles D'Andre Christmas and Gerald Wilbon.
Domingue was available because of a messy breakup with the Tigers in the summer after not being granted a scholarship for his final season. On July 13th, he posted this message on Twitter.
"I told him, ‘If we’re in a position where we have a grant, it’s going to be yours.’ He just didn’t want to give me time to do that," Les Miles told the Advocate on July 14th.
Domingue was a 2015 Lou Groza semifinalist, which is given to the top college kicker in the country. Domingue took over full-time kicking duties in 2014, but flourished last season — going 13-17 on the year, and had a streak of 10 straight made field goals. Though he was 0-1 on 50+ kicks, he clearly has power from deep, as he was 3-4 from 40-49 yards. He was also 49-50 on PATs, with the only miss a block against Alabama.
The highlight of his season was perhaps a 17-yard touchdown run on a fake field goal against Florida that ultimately proved to be the winning margin. Domingue later said that he "blacked out" on the play and doesn't remember much of catching the backwards pass and sprinting down the left sideline for an easy score.
Kickoff duties could also fall to Domingue. However, that’s not his strength, as he only averaged 58.4 yards per kickoff (a number that would have ranked outside the top-100 nationally had he attempted enough) with seven touchbacks.
Still, the Mandeville, Louisiana native is poised to be a major factor on a Longhorn team that lost Nick Rose, who graduated and signed a deal with the Falcons. And now Incoming freshman walk on and fan favorite Chris Naggar will have a much steeper hill to climb in making the Texas roster.
For Charlie Strong, Domingue’s presence should be a massive sigh of relief. Strong had stated in April, "If you find me a kicker, send him to me." To make matters worse, Mitchell Becker shanked the only field goal attempt in the Orange and White game later in the month.
Now, the Longhorns have added a veteran, reliable presence to put the ball through the uprights with consistency.