Part of the transition from high school to college involves moving away and being on your own. While many often choose a college that is somewhat close to home, Huntsville’s Cody Gougler, just a few weeks from now, will set off for Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond, La.

“I know it’s quite a ways, but it’s a real good opportunity for me,” Gougler said. “But I think I’m all set and ready to go.”

Thanks to a surprising phone call in January and a strong showing at a punting camp at the University of Houston, Gougler will get a chance to play football at a Division I school this fall.

“I was sititng at home and this guy, Jeremy Kohl, called me up and asked if I wanted to participate in this kicking camp,” Gougler said. “I found out it was a huge showcase. Out of 70 punters, I came in second. Not long after that, I got a call from Southeastern.”

Gougler will leave for Hammond at the end of the month and has been working to make sure he remains in peak condition.

“We start practice on Aug. 3 and the key thing for me is to be prepared,” Gougler said. “I’ve been punting about 40 to 50 footballs a day.”

Gougler is listed as second on Southeastern’s depth chart behind senior Cody Samples, so he knows he’ll have his work cut out for him if he is to emerge as the Lions’ top punter.

“I really don’t want to miss any playing time,” Gougler said. “I also know he’s a senior and I’m sure he’ll be given every opportunity to fail, but I’ll just go out there, compete and see what happens.”

Gouglar also knows there will plenty of adjustments he’ll have to make at Southeastern.

“One of the things I’m going to have to adjust to is my number of steps,” Gouglar said. “In high school, I took three steps, but now I’m going to have to adjust to making only two. I also know that there’ll be quicker players trying to block my kicks. But I’m confident that I can make those adjustments.”

While Gougler will be far from home, he moves into a situation with plenty of Huntsville connections. SLU head coach Mike Lucas served as defensive coordinator and assistant coach under Ron Randleman at Sam Houston State before leaving after the 2001 season.

“(Coach Lucas) and my dad coached little league together, so I’ve known coach Lucas for quite a while,” Gouglar said. “So even though I won’t be around my family and my dog that I’ve had for eight years, it will be good to have Coach Lucas around and his son, Torin, who I played baseball with back in little league.

“I’m ready to go, but I also don’t know what to expect.

“I’m also looking forward to when we play Sam. I’ve always played with a chip on my shoulder and I was a little upset that they didn’t recruit me. But I’m in good hands and I’m really happy to be a Lion.”

Waiting for a shot

Adrian Archie is currently third on the Texas Tech depth chart at left guard behind senior Louis Vazquez and junior Stephen Hamby. Archie and the Red Raiders will be playing in the Huntsville area when Texas Tech plays at Houston on Sept. 26, 2009.