The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

July 1, 2014

Mountaineer kicker says he can make a field goal from 60 yards

MORGANTOWN — Josh Lambert, who’s from Garland, Texas, believes he’s capable of kicking a field goal from 60 yards for West Virginia University.

The 5-foot-11, 221-pound sophomore, who also has some experience punting the football, made a field goal from 53 yards in this spring’s Gold-Blue intrasquad scrimmage.

He had also booted a 53-yarder  in an actual game as a two-year starter at Garland High School in the Dallas area.

What’s more, Lambert said last week he has kicked a field goal as far as 70 yards in practice, although never in a game at any level.

You can tell in chatting with Josh, though, that he has the utmost confidence in his strong kicking leg.

“If everything goes right, I know I can hit from 60,” he said reassuringly. “I can’t hit it every single time. But I can hit from that distance.”

As a Mountaineer, he made 17 of 23 field goals in his collegiate debut. And four of those six missed attempts were from more than 50 yards.

Moreover, Lambert was battling two torn muscles in a groin and in his foot. But he’s healthy now.

“I’ve had a really, really solid offseason (of workouts),” he said. “I’ve been working hard, lifting weights. When we’re not too sore to kick some, we do.”

Lambert has added 15 pounds to his body since last season, and he believes that will help, too. “But I think the biggest thing is that I stay healthy,” he said.

With the poor predictions and WVU coming off a 4-8 season, some folks think the Mountaineers might have to rely more on field goal support in 2014. The Texas native said he is not worried about that possibility.

“If we have to go kick one field goal a game, or 14 field goals a game, it doesn’t matter to me. My biggest thing is to just help the team when needed.”

Lambert doesn’t read anything about the preseason prospects.

He reasoned that “you can’t listen to people that build you up and you can’t listen to people that stomp on you when you’re down.

“You can’t really play with other people’s opinions on what you’re going to do.”

Lambert, who was redshirted as a freshman in 2012, was asked whether he has been happy in West Virginia. “I love it,” he replied.

“I think it’s one of the best parts of the country. I’m very happy being here.”

His longest of 50 yards in a game came against Kansas State. The two carrying the next most distance were for 49 yards against Iowa State and 45 yards against Oklahoma State.

WVU’s all-time record is 55 yards by All-American Paul Woodside. He turned the trick against Louisville in 1984. Woodside is in the WVU Sports Hall of Fame.

Lambert, the son of Chris and Rhonda Lambert, earned several honors as a schoolboy. He was named All-District 10-5A first-team kicker as a senior in high school. He also was the champion of the Chris Sailer National Kicking Event Filed Goal Last Man Standing competition.

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