PULLMAN -- His first name ranks up there with Shaumbe, Love, Bunny and Mkristo among the most memorable ever to roam the Palouse. Factor in his last name, which looks to be the longest in Cougar history at 15 letters, and you have instant inclusion on the All-Name team. But for the guy who appears to be WSU’s new starting kicker, the only lasting impression he plans to make is with his right foot.
While head coach Bill Doba insists the competition is still open between rookie walk-on Romeen Abdollmohammadi and two-year starter Loren Langley, the scorebook is pretty conclusive. Practice has seen each have ups and downs, but in the Cougars’ three scrimmages since fall camp opened, Abdollmohammadi has connected on 11 of 13 field goal attempts, including 5 of 5 on Saturday. His 4-for-4 effort in Scrimmage One moved Doba to name him the front runner for the starting nod.
Langley, a scholarship junior who struggled mightily at the end of last season, has continued to founder. He’s made just 5 of 13 attempts in the three scrimmages.
Abdollmohammadi – pronounced AB-DOLL-MO-HA-MAUDY – was a standout soccer player at Class 4A Stanwood in Snohomish County but played only one season of football, both kicking and punting as a senior. He attempted just one field goal in a game.
“That was it man, my only kick -- and I missed it, and that was that,” he remembered in an interview last week.
True fact. The 6-foot, 228-pound Abdollmohammadi -– he of the solid and accurate leg all camp -- has never made a field goal in a real game.
But he has confidence -– especially in his accuracy from 48 yards and in. "When I played soccer I was a defender and from the back, if you asked me where the ball needed to go I could pinpoint it pretty well and put it right there,” he said earlier this year.
And what about that mouthful of a name?
It’s Iranian, he explains. His dad Mostafa immigrated to the U.S. in 1977 -– not long before the Shah of Iran was ousted from power by the Ayatollah Khomeni.
Abdollmohommadi says, to his knowledge, the name doesn’t translate to anything in English. But it does provide grist for a nickname. His Cougar teammates have dubbed him Radda-Dada-Meen.
“I don’t know what it means, but that’s what they chose I guess,” he says.
Abdollmohammadi walked on at WSU in the spring following coursework at Shoreline and Everett community colleges. He didn’t complete enough classes to earn an AA degree, so had to leave the field after little more than a week with the Cougars. “I had to get cleared by the (NCAA) Clearinghouse again, and take a bunch of summer classes -- but I got it done.”
He clearly made a good impression in his short time in uniform, drilling all three field goal attempts in his lone spring scrimmage and sending several kickoffs deep.
Abdollmohammodi, who has two seasons of eligibility, says his decision to come to WSU had nothing to do with football. He was en route to Pullman purely to go to school. “And then about a month before I got here, I started kicking again. Then once I got here I heard about spring tryouts, and I just went to that, and I guess they liked it.
“Everybody has been great,” he says. “This is fun, a great experience.”
NOTABLE NAME NOTES:
At 15 letters, Abdollmohammodi appears to have a lock on honors for the longest name in Cougar history. While a full review of every letterwinner over the last 111 years remains to be done, Abdollmohammodi certainly outdistances some of the long-name contenders who come immediately to mind, like early 90s receiver Calvin Schexnayder; early 70s defensive back Fran Kachaturian; early 80s running back Junior Tautalatasi; 1950s end Don Steinbrunner; and 1930s tackle George Theodoratus.
However, Abdollmohammodi may not have the most unique-ever name for a Cougar kicker. Late in the 2000 season, Mike Price called upon 5-8, 148-pound Anousith Wilaikul of Vista, Calif.