Los Angeles Chargers undrafted rookie spotlight: Younghoe Koo


It’s time to take a look at another of the Los Angeles’ Chargers undrafted rookie signings, and this time we’ll move to special teams.

Younghoe Koo played at Georgia Southern and though most will look at him as nothing more than a “camp leg” to give Josh Lambo a break here and there, this look into his background may convince them to rethink that.

Born in Seoul, South Korea, Koo and his family moved to Ridgewood, New Jersey where he starred as a kicker in high school.

Koo was named to the All-Sun Belt Conference first team for his efforts in 2016, which including him making 19-of-20 field goal attempts. He also showed his leg strength by blasting a 53-yard field goal during his time at the school. He was also named a finalist for the Lou Groza Award, given annually to the country’s top kicker.

Did the Chargers need to go out and sign a kicker? Not necessarily, it’s not like the majority of fans were calling for Lambo’s job. But competition is healthy for the team and bringing in a guy like Koo isn’t going to hurt anything. If it shakes the confidence of Lambo, maybe he’s not fit to be a professional kicker.

That said, it could also drive Lambo’s motivation. Lambo looked good during his rookie year and even though he’s made 26-of-32 field goal attempts in each of his first two seasons in the league, the difference between the two seasons has been his attempts from 50 yards or more. Lambo went 4-for-5 from 50 yards or longer as a rookie but missed all three of his attempts last year.

He’s also missed four extra-point attempts in each of his first two seasons and though those kicks are longer than they used to be, fans don’t often forget them. They can easily be the difference between a win and a loss.

Let’s also not forget the kick he shanked in Cleveland that would have tied the game, allowing the Browns to win their only game of the year. Lambo actually missed two kicks in that game.

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Enter Koo, who has everything to gain.

Koo is the most accurate kicker in Georgia Southern school history, making 88.6 percent of his kicks. Though he won’t use the trick shot seen below in a game situation, it still shows off his athleticism.

Lambo will still be in the driver’s seat when it comes to the placekicking job in Los Angeles. But as he should know, those jobs are easy to use. Just two years ago, Lambo himself was an undrafted free agent who came into camp and won the Chargers’ job over Nick Novak.

Those misses in Cleveland stick out and we would be naive to think that Koo can’t come in and do the same thing.