Former Independence High School kicker Landon Foster had a two-day stretch last week that he will never forget. Now the University of Kentucky’s punter, Foster was named first-team Freshman All-American Dec. 7 while being honored on the Freshman All-Southeastern Conference Team one-day prior.
Foster admitted that it was something he had dreamed about.
“It's something that you work for every day in the offseason and it is just special,” he said. “But I honestly couldn't have done it without my long snapper and the rest of our punt coverage team. They busted their tails each and every week which allowed us to have a top 20 net average in the country while never getting a punt blocked.”
A native of Franklin, Foster averaged 42.9 yards per punt this season, ranking him fourth among freshmen nationally. Overall, Foster launched 61 punts this season for 2,617 yards and 13 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.
The freshman only had three touchbacks on the year, while his longest punt of the season was a 58-yarder against Arkansas. He hit at least one punt over 50 yards in nine of UK’s 12 games.
Foster’s success is no surprise to Independence football coach Kevin Dyson, who feels that his former player will only get better in years to come.
“Awards and notoriety make (Landon) work harder because he wants to prove that he deserves it,” Dyson said.
Foster is the first kicker in Wildcat history to be honored as a first-team Freshman All-American. He is also the school’s first punter selected Freshman All-SEC – an award voted on by coaches since 1999. Previously it was awarded by the Knoxville News-Sentinel dating back to 1986.
Kentucky previously had 10 players named Freshman All-American, the last being defensive back Trevard Lindley in 2006. That year’s honor was voted on by Rivals.com.
During the season, Foster was named Honorable Mention Punter of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards four times and was selected to the National Freshman Performer of the Year Watch List.
The awards are something Foster says he will always remember.
“I joke around about it,” he said, “but 20 years from now I'll look at them and see my name listed on the same Freshman All-SEC team as this year's Heisman Trophy winner, which is an unbelievable feeling.”
Texas A&M redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel, this year’s Heisman Trophy winner, is also a Freshman All-SEC honoree.