Previously: Podcast 10.0A. Podcast 10.0B. Podcast 10.0C. The Story. Quarterback. Running Back. Wide Receiver. Tight End And Friends. Offensive Tackle. Interior Offensive Line. Defensive Tackle. Defensive End. Linebacker. Cornerback. Safety.
|Kicker||Yr||Punter||Yr||Kickoffs||Yr||Punt return||Yr||Kick return||Yr|
|Quinn Nordin||So.*||Brad Robbins||So.||Jake Moody||Fr.||Donovan Peoples-Jones||So.||Ambry Thomas||So.|
|Jake Moody||Fr.||Will Hart||So.*||Quinn Nordin||So.*||Oliver Martin||Fr.*||Donovan Peoples-Jones||So.|
Kickers can kick far, but not always straight. The punters cannot kick far, and not always straight. Donovan Peoples-Jones can field some punts, but not other punts, unless he can this year. It's special teams, people, predictions are for rubes.
KICKER: SOMEONE CALIBRATE BIG BERTHA PLEASE
Rating: 4, but maybe 5.
this one is for the haircut [Bryan Fuller]
It all happened so fast with QUINN NORDIN. One day he was a promising redshirt freshman; the next he was already on Michigan's leaderboards for most 50+ yard field goals in program history. Around these parts we have what I call a "bet" and Ace calls "certainly an OSHA violation" where he has to get a Wild Thing haircut if Nordin hits two 50-yarders in one game. Because Nordin has—probably had at this point—that haircut.
We didn't listen.
The haircut whispered dark tidings like "hey maybe miss this one" into Nordin's ear and he listened enough to create a mid-season swoon severe enough for Harbaugh and Nordin to have a bit of a public spat after his third straight miss. "Hey! Make a field goal!" Harbaugh probably said, and Nordin probably said "That's what I'm trying to do!" in response, as one does. Then both said "DANGIT" at the same time and "JINX" at the same time three seconds later and everything was fine again.
Compounding the field goal misses were three missed extra points, one of which was going to be the way Michigan lost to OSU until they found a different way to lose.
The good news is that Nordin banged in all four of his attempts in the bowl game, including a 48-yarder, and finished the season 19 of 24. These days hitting almost 80% isn't an incredible feat, but it's still pretty good. FEI's Field Goal Efficiency Metric, which takes distance into account, ranked him 25th in D-I.
Having expectations for kickers is a rube's game but let's be rubes: the heart of a wide distribution here is another season exactly like the one Nordin had with maybe one extra point miss. And maybe one absolute bomb from halfway across the state. Here's the bit where the spring game field goal goes:
Good from 70. Easy.
FWIW, Michigan did bring in JAKE MOODY as a grayshirt. He got a scholarship this fall after some attrition but is probably on a first-come-first-serve basis until he gets a starting job. Moody has a giant leg himself, with three field goals of 55+ yards last year, and unlike Nordin he got to use it. His 39 field goals is a state record.
Since the James "Doug" Foug tactic has been nerfed by the NCAA—you can now call a fair catch inside the 25 on a kickoff and it counts as a touchback—the play on kickoffs is to blast them out of the back of the endzone. Moody seems like a good candidate to do that, and good backup plan if Nordin has a full #collegekickers meltdown. Which is unlikely. But, I mean... yeah.
[After the JUMP: aaargh you punt the ball farther than that]