Senior kicker plays in Under Armour All-America game


Kim Klement

Cade York, No. 98, kicks a 59-yard field goal in the first quarter of the Under Armour All-America game. The kick marked the longest in the game’s history. “I wasn’t nervous for the game actually,” York said. “It was pretty surreal just because it was a lot more than I expected when I first got there.”

When Cade York first started to play football, he said he believed he would be kicking soccer balls at the collegiate level instead of making field goals. But, after attending the Kohl’s Kicking Camp in July, York was ranked the No. 2 kicker and punter in the United States.  

The Louisiana State University commit played in the Under Armour All-America game, and kicked a 59-yard field goal, which marked the longest made kick in the game’s history.

“I was super-excited when I found out I got selected to play,” York said. “It was something I had been working towards for two years. It kind of came as a surprise because I was at the camp, and I got hurt. I kept going through it, but I still got a shot at it, which was awesome. I wasn’t nervous for the game. I didn’t expect to kick that far. Usually, the All-America game is pretty laid back. They never go for super long field goals, but I had hit two long ones during warm-ups and one during the game so they kind of said ‘Why not?’ They told me to go out there and try my best. I ended up making it which was really cool.”

After the 59-yarder put points on the scoreboard in the first quarter, York received recognition from LSU fans, friends, teammates, coaches and even NFL players.  

“I came back in the locker room during half time and checked my phone,” York said. “I had so many notifications, it was crazy. I saw Patrick Mahomes’ tweet and immediately went to like it and reply to him cause of course it was Patrick Mahomes. That was insane.”

To avoid his field goal attempt from being blocked in the first quarter, York pump faked his kick, and still managed to kick the ball through the uprights.

“Over the past four years, I’ve built up my confidence a lot getting to kick three years,” York said. “I’ve been working out in the weight room a lot getting stronger and bigger to kick further. But also smarter with the plays I make.”

York announced his commitment to continue playing football for LSU in May. He made it official in December after signing his National Letter of Intent during the early signing period.

“My goal was definitely to play at a big school,” York said. “I didn’t necessarily think I would end up choosing LSU, but it was definitely a great surprise. I didn’t think I was going to get an offer that day but it ended up happening. Automatically I knew it was the right school to go to.”

Special teams coach Coby Richards met York the summer of his freshman year. He recalls York telling him he wanted to kick for a Division 1 school in college.

Cade has always been a perfectionist,” Richards said. “Even when he was a freshman he wanted to be our No. 1 kicker. Let’s be honest, he is the strongest kicker I have ever been around in my 15 years. To have an athlete from our program be selected to the All-America game is a huge honor for our program and the team. It was a great feeling to see him succeed at that level. Setting the record with a 59-yard field goal at that game is a tremendous accomplishment. When he was sent out to kick that 59 yarder, I knew he had the leg strength to get it there, though accuracy is always in questions when that far out. Yet, he hammered it. I absolutely loved seeing him celebrate that kick.”

Richards said York was more than just a leader to the varsity football team.

“It’s hard for a kicker to be a team leader because they only play 10 plays a game,” Richards said. “Cade made his presence known to the team in the off season workouts, and time he spent in the weight room. He became a leader of our team because of what he did off the field. He was one of the strongest guys on our team.”

York said he’s grateful to have kicked for the varsity team for the past three years. He said being a part of the program here built up his confidence. Yet, he is ready for Baton Rouge game days next season and to be playing at the next level of football with the Tigers.

“Next year I want to work more on my mindset,” York said. “You know, mentally staying confident is so important. And just staying consistent kicking field goals. My advice would be to stick at it. I’m not sure where I would be even if I started to train earlier. There have been some rough patches when I couldn’t kick so well, but I never wanted to quit. And I never gave up. Now here I am.”