Homecoming queen misses cut for LSU football

(CBS News) Mo Isom wants to play big-time college football.

And at Louisiana State University, people watch her kick and they wonder what she wonders: Can she do it?

Mo knows kicking. She's the greatest goalie in history for LSU women's soccer. As an All-American freshman, she booted a 90-yard goal and made ESPN's top ten plays of the week. She had thirty career shutouts -- a school record.

And she was also crowned LSU's Homecoming Queen.

"I have this skill. I have this ability. But can I produce consistently at the highest level possible with only one year of training under my belt," Isom said. "That's the real challenge."

But her success is only part of what drives her.

"My life, personally, has been a rollercoaster," she said. "A lot of ups, a lot of downs."

She lost her father, John Isom, in her sophomore year.

"My dad was my best friend," Isom said. He was my hero."

But John Isom had financial troubles -- and other demons. He committed suicide in 2009. And then, nine months after losing her father, she almost lost her life in a car accident.

"I was broken," she said. "I broke my neck. I broke three ribs down the left side of my body."

But Isom was able to pull through and used her hardships as motivating factors in what she's doing now.

She started practicing a year ago hoping to become the team's back-up kicker. And she says it's no publicity stunt.

"This is a pursuit, a passionate pursuit," she said. "And a desire. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, the thing that's most important to me, and has been so amazing in this process, are the people who see that and have been inspired by it."

Despite her skills and strength, Head Coach Les Miles told her she did not make the cut for the spring squad. But she'll have another opportunity to try out in the months ahead.

"So, I'm gonna keep going," she said. "I'm going to train through the spring, through the summer. We'll see come August."

Football's a game of perseverance through adversity.

And Mo Isom knows all about that.

To watch Mark Strassmann's full report, watch the video in the player above.

  • Mark Strassmann

    Mark Strassmann was named CBS News Transportation correspondent in August 2011. He has been a CBS News correspondent since January 2001, and is based in the Atlanta bureau.

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