Previously: Last year's profiles. S Josh Metellus, S Khaleke Hudson, CB David Long, CBLavert Hill, LB Elysee Mbem-Bosse, LB Devin Bush Jr., LB Devin Gil, LB Josh Uche, DERon Johnson, DT Michael Dwumfour, DT Rashan Gary, DE Carlo Kemp, OL Ben Bredeson, OL Michael Onwenu, OL Stephen Spanellis, TE Nick Eubanks, TE Sean McKeon, TE Devin Asiasi, WR Eddie McDoom, WR Nate Johnson, WR Kekoa Crawford, WR Chris Evans,
WR Brad Hawkins, WR Ahmir Mitchell, RB Kingston Davis, RB Kareem Walker, QB Brandon Peters.
|Rockford, MI – 6'2", 200|
|Scout||4*, NR overall
|Rivals||3*, NR overall
#1 K , #22 MI
|ESPN||3*, NR overall
#9 K, #19 MI
|24/7||3*, #1456 overall
#1 K, #36 MI
|Other Suitors||PSU, USC, Baylor, Iowa|
|Previously On MGoBlog||Hello post from Ace.|
Senior (I think?):
Doin' thangs at PSU camp:
Quinn Nordin is a kicker. He's the best kicker in the country according to three of the four recruiting services. And, uh, he might be. He's a kicker. Michigan brought in a kicker last year and he was so far out of the picture for the placekicking job that he was behind a guy who quit the team as soon as Kenny Allen consolidated his hold on the starting spot. Meanwhile everyone was panicked about how bad the situation was; Allen hit 82% of his attempts. I dunno, and they dunno.
In addition to the usual specialist uncertainty, data is bizarrely thin on the ground for Nordin. Per MGoBlue this was his field goal output a year ago:
• Converted 2-3 field goal attempts with a long of 51 during senior year
I have questions about this. Was his team so bad they never approached field goal range? So good that they never needed to attempt one? Enthralled by that one school in Arkansas that always goes for it on fourth down? So filled with hatred of soccer that any sort of kicking motion resulted in a pie in the face?
Anyway. Nordin's reputation has been built in the same way most kicker prospects get built up: attending various specialist camps run by old kickers. In Nordin's case that camp is former Michigan kicker Brandon Kornblue's. Kornblue also ranks Nordin #1 in the country—and did so when he was a PSU commit Michigan couldn't take because of Andrew David—and provides some detail on his site. While we don't know much yet we do know Nordin has a big, big leg:
— Brandon Kornblue (@KornblueKicking) April 5, 2016
He is one of the strongest placekickers in the nation and continues to make gains with his consistency and accuracy. Quinn has trained exclusively with Kornblue Kicking since middle school. He spent four days of private training in January 2015 with Coach Kornblue in Naples, FL. During the training, he drilled a 65 yard FG off the ground (can be seen on our Twitter page). His ability to get great height, ball rotation, and distance on FG’s as a high school junior sparked national recruiting interest. At our Ohio Fab 50 Camp (July 2014), Quinn charted four monster kickoffs (with a 5-10 mph wind): 81/3.91, 75/3.97, 75/3.75, 77/3.8. His worst charted kickoff traveled 64 yards. He also continues to improve as a punter. Best punt at that camp charted 4.66/41 yards.
Chris Partridge's scouting report on MGoBlue sounds like Kirk Herbstreit on NCAA football back in the day, noting Nordin's "powerful leg" and that he can "bring a lot of power to our kicking game." He just used POWER, you guys.
ESPN is the only site that'll bother to scout a kicker, and despite ranking him ninth instead of first they have another one of those profiles that doesn't match the rankings:
…impressive coordination. Can easily hit the ball 75 yards …ball jumps off of his foot, fast leg, and great lift on his FG's. … Ball striking is impressive, repeatable steps on FG's, clean rotation on the ball, good lift on his kicks, strong athlete. …Smooth and repeatable swing up and through the ball. …one of the best kicking prospects in the country.
"Repeatable" is the best thing to hear in these evaluations. Big difference between a camp and a field goal to win in front of 100k, and from this are kicker manias born.
• Punted 10 times as a senior, with seven going for 50+ yards, including a 67-yard career long (52.9 avg.); had six punts downed inside the opponent's 20-yard line
• Punted the ball 26 times for 1,020 yards (39.2 avg.) with a long of 55 as a junior
• Totaled 12 kicks inside the opposition's 20-yard line and had five kicks of 50+ yards junior year
Again we have to ask what was going on with his high school team when he has a total of 13 kicks and punts on the year. I couldn't find any mentions of suspension or injury.
As the Kornblue profile above mentions, Nordin's had a ton of coaching and should be a better bet than most specialists; I wouldn't be surprised if he continued to get intensive training in the offseason. His family seem to be able to afford it and it's pretty clear he's got NFL upside at this point. That's important in college since there's no room for a kicking coach.
Etc.: Uproxx had a profile on him. Because of the high profile nature of Nordin's first commit, which was one of those video things, and the Harbaugh sleepover he had to defend himself and his coach when people interviewed him. A couple insights into the recruiting process, then:
“It’s been a long, long process,” he said. “Coach Harbaugh has never really pressured me. He never put on the pressure, unlike other schools. So it was kind of unique. I kept thinking, ‘Maybe this is right.’ After my official visit, my mom was really big in deciding. She loves him, as you can tell.
Mom's in Michigan's corner:
“People don’t understand how good of a guy he really is,” Nordin said. “He respects everyone. He never talks bad about any school. He just wants the best players on his team and he’s going to do what it takes, within the rules, to get those players. As you can tell, he slept over my house and I’m going to Michigan, so it’s really exciting stuff.”
Heidi Nordin was emotional when she told everyone gathered around her what Harbaugh meant to the family.
“Obviously, you all know coach Harbaugh is an awesome man,” she said with a quiver in her voice. “You have no idea. I know he gets a bad rap, but he is an awesome, awesome man.”
Why a kicker? Is kicker.
Guru Reliability: Low-plus. Is kicker. Is at least consistently evaluated as the top guy available.
Variance: High. Is kicker. Had three FG attempts senior year.
Ceiling: High. Nordin has a monster leg and could be a rare multi-phase difference-maker specialist.
General Excitement Level: Moderate-plus. Kickers are crapshoots but Nordin's at least a weighted die with big-time upside.
Projection: Michigan will probably find a role for Nordin this year. Kenny Allen was very accurate to about 40 yards but didn't attempt much of anything longer than that. Nordin has the leg to give Michigan an option on longer field goals. They may also want him to kick off since Allen figures to get the bulk of the punting and placekicking work.
Once Allen departs after this year he's a heavy favorite to be the placekicker for the next three years. Punting is also a possibility since Michigan doesn't have a scholarship guy unless David makes a successful conversion, and Michigan doesn't appear to be looking for a specialist in this recruiting class.