WATCH: Ragin’ Cajuns K Stevie Artigue Ready For 2016 Season
Stevie Artigue started at kicker for the Ragin' Cajuns as a freshman, but he wasn't really himself. His body held him back in 2015, but he's good to go in 2016.
When he played at Lafayette High School, he was one of the most consistent kickers in the country. He nailed 40+ yard kicks left and right, and the 50 yarders weren't out of his range either. It earned him a scholarship from Mark Hudspeth and a starting job his first year on campus.
In 2015, something seemed off about Artigue's accuracy. One of the most consistent high school kickers in the country only made 53 percent (8/15 FG) of his kicks as a freshman. He even missed two extra points. Something wasn't right.
"Last year, I was hurt the majority of the season. That's not an excuse, but it affected my practice and my swing and everything," Artigue said. "This year, I'm good, I'm healthy, and I'm looking to have a good year."
A lower body injury would explain a lot. His Head Coach Mark Hudspeth referenced Artigue dealing with "tightness" in his legs all last season, but the scholarship kicker feels leaps and bounds better as a sophomore.
Artigue worked all summer with his special teams mate Steven Coutts. The Aussie punter broke onto the scene last year with booming punts, and his work ethic and practice routine don't leave much room for error; basically, he lives at the football facilities. Coutts' preparation is rubbing off on Artigue, and the two kickers fuel each other to improve.
Not only is Artigue healthy and prepared, he's stronger. Some kickers don't hit the weights as hard as their teammates, but Stevie loves the gym. He packed on a ton of muscle, which will help his power for sure.
"My field goals are going a lot better, and my kickoffs are going deep. I improved a lot," Artigue said.
There are three kickers listed on the roster, but Artigue is the man. His goal for the season is to hit 100 percent of his field goals and to get touchbacks on all his kickoffs. He understands it's almost impossible to hit that goal, but he feels with his skills he should be able to produce those results every time out. Set the bar high, Stevie.
Artigue and Coutts (Stevie & Steven) could be serious weapons on special teams in 2016. If Artigue is back to good health like he says, Cajun fans should expect a much more consistent performance this season.
We just hope Stevie keeps kicking trick shots. He had to keep himself from getting bored in the offseason, in between all the workouts.
— stevie artigue (@stevieartigue) April 8, 2016