2016 Recruiting Profile: Quinn Nordin Comment Count

Brian July 20th, 2016 at 12:00 PM

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
#1 K
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.
Notes Twitter.


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:

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.

Nordin also has a future as a punter, and possibly an excellent one. Partridge told MGoBlue that Nordin will "be able to help us in all three phases." His high school output was pretty good:

• 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.


Michigan Shirt

July 20th, 2016 at 2:32 PM ^

What was the deal with David? I looked up his old Hello post and he seemed to have a pretty big leg when he commited, he completed 14/15 at 50+ off the ground in front of the coaches. Maybe he has the yips or something, just seems weird after his profile.


July 20th, 2016 at 12:10 PM ^

Brandon Kornblue lived in my hall in South Quad my freshman year.  He seemed like a nice enough guy, although I'm not sure we ever really spoke.  

I have nothing more to add.


Maison Bleue

July 20th, 2016 at 1:20 PM ^

The important part from Wiki:


Nordin played high school football at Rockford High School in Rockford, Michigan. Nordin missed much of his senior season due to a shoulder injury, but returned to action late for a Rockford team that made it to the third round of the Division-1 state playoffs with an 8–3 overall record.

Maison Bleue

July 20th, 2016 at 1:18 PM ^

He got hurt early in the year:


Nordin played high school football at Rockford High School in Rockford, Michigan. Nordin missed much of his senior season due to a shoulder injury, but returned to action late for a Rockford team that made it to the third round of the Division-1 state playoffs with an 8–3 overall record.


July 20th, 2016 at 1:22 PM ^

You aren't excited about kickers because when you see them it's always disapointing. It means a drive bogged down...a 3rd down wasn't converted in the redzone or in the opponents half.  But they score a ton of points over the course of a season.  A good one is a nice strategic option to have. They can win you a close game or contribute hidden points/yards by simply kicking it far enough for a touchback (eliminating the risk of good field postion or kick off TDs).  We need one and I hope he is it.

Blue Sharpie

July 20th, 2016 at 1:36 PM ^

Two big games from last year were Iowa's 50 + yarder to beat Pitt, and MSU's kick to beat OSU.
Good kickers should have higher star rankings, instead of the crappy 2 and 3 star rankings most have. They decide more games than most other positions.


July 20th, 2016 at 1:51 PM ^

Nobody gives a shit about kickers until there is :02 on the clock and your down by 2. Then everybody gives a shit about the kicker. I'm glad we have him while hoping to never need him.


July 20th, 2016 at 2:20 PM ^

Only area of concern. I'm from the west side and my HS alma mater played Rockford twice last season. He kicks off of a block in games. Word is his coach makes him do it and that he practices kicking off the ground in practice. Something to keep an eye on.


July 20th, 2016 at 2:32 PM ^

Hayden . true that Carolyn `s st0rry is unbelievable... last wednesday I bought a great new Volkswagen Golf GTI after having earned $9515 this-last/five weeks and in excess of 10k lass month . it's certainly the nicest-job I have ever done . I started this three months/ago and pretty much immediately made more than $78 per hour


July 20th, 2016 at 3:06 PM ^

Glad he's on the team.  I always assumed he was injured, since Rockford struck me as a traditional program that wouldn't, say, never kick in the red zone.

Rufus X

July 20th, 2016 at 6:10 PM ^

...prancing out onto the field in their clean uniform while 22 warriors who have given their blood, sweat, and tears risking debilitating brain injury watch and hope that he has actually been thinking about kicking for the last two hours and not hitting on the cheerleaders, standing just far enough away from his coach so that when he calls out "KICKER!" that he will actually hear it.  But I guess it's better to have a good one than a crappy one so...


July 21st, 2016 at 10:41 AM ^

That's the role. It's not kickers fault that the rules of football require someone to kick the ball at various times. Do you really want your kicker to also play linebacker just so they can be considered "warriors"? If people hate kickers so much just get rid of kickoffs, field goals and extra points. Until you advocate for that, it makes no sense to deride a role required by the sport and willingly fulfilled by guys who work hard at their craft and mostly do not fit the idiotic stereotype you conjure.