2016 Season Countdown: #51 Quinn Nordin

2016 Season Countdown: #51 Quinn Nordin

July 22, 2016
Quinn Nordin 608x

Quinn Nordin

Name: Quinn Nordin
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 200 lbs.
High school: Rockford (MI) Rockford
Position: Kicker/punter
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #15
Last year: Nordin was a senior in high school (LINK). He averaged 52.9 yards/punt, went 2/3 on field goals, and had touchbacks on 19/23 kickoffs.
Final TTB Rating: 89

A locally grown talent, Nordin irked some by committing to Penn State. Not because he picked the Nittany Lions, necessarily, but because he did so by posting a video of him “coming home” to Penn State, a somewhat audacious move for a high school football player. A kicker.

But then a curious thing happened. He started visiting Michigan. And kept visiting Michigan. And retweeted a lot of Michigan stuff. And made friends with other Michigan commits. The story goes that he committed to PSU because Michigan wasn’t sure if they could fit a kicker into their class (they took kicker Andrew David in 2015, too), but as the Wolverines amped up the pressure to squeeze him in, he became more amenable to being a Wolverine. There were more big waves with Nordin when Jim Harbaugh made an in-home visit that saw him spending the night at Nordin’s house. That was two times that a high school kicker ended up being talked about by national pundits on ESPN and the like.

Entering the fall season, Nordin has a chance to contribute as a punter or a kicker. Fifth year senior Kenny Allen did a good job with the placekicking last year, so he should hold down that spot. But Michigan has no real heir apparent for the punting job unless Allen pulls double duty. I assume Allen will start off the year doing both jobs, but Nordin may be called upon if there’s an injury or if he’s a more consistent punter than Allen. Nordin is a tough guy to place in the countdown, because he could redshirt, but he could also be the starting punter and kicker if Allen tweaks a knee or ankle.

Prediction: Backup punter/kicker


  1. Avatar
    Comments: 22
    Joined: 8/20/2015
    Jul 22, 2016 at 9:19 AM

    This is more of an over arching question and I wanted to post it up on a recent countdown member to get feedback from everyone. How do you, or other people here, view the kids who have been on campus for a year vs a true freshman counter part.

    For example, you have Keith Washington ahead of both Long and Hill. If you were to compare them all coming right out of HS I would assume that Long and Hill would be ahead of Washington, but since he has been on campus for a year he has a leg up on the countdown.

    I understand the idea of being able to learn the system and get in the weight room with a college team, but how much does that really matter when the kid red-shirts? I would ask the same question when comparing OL such as Jon Runyan Jr over Ben Bredesen.

    Part of my question is also looking into how you, or anyone, views prospects as a group when they come out of HS as early contributors. In that line, I would put Runyan ahead of all the true freshman OL, because I think they typically RS. On the flip side how much better does Reuben Jones get after a RS year vs true freshman Carlo Kemp, who is generally viewed as a better prospect coming out of HS.

    Overall, whatever you say is cool, I love the countdown, it’s something I look forward to. Thanks for the taking the time to put this together.

    PS. Since this is on Nordin….good spot for him I suppose. GO BLUE!

    • GKblue
      Comments: 359
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Jul 22, 2016 at 9:32 AM

      For relatively equal guys a year of S&C, familiarization with the program, with college life and the classroom does count a lot. Of course in certain skill positions pure athleticism might get a true freshman playing time.

      I think our current program will reward freshman with playing time if they work hard enough or compete well within their position group, but that is kinda hard to predict in the rankings before the fall I think?

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3849
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jul 22, 2016 at 10:54 AM

      I think strength and conditioning is a big deal during the first couple years of college. A lot of kids come out of high school not knowing how to lift, not knowing how to eat right, etc. Maybe they don’t have the money to eat right, or maybe they don’t have the knowledge. So you frequently see some big weight gains in the first couple years of college. I think that’s a big deal. Speaking of Keith Washington, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if his listed weight last year (175 lbs.) was a complete fabrication. He might have been about 160. I had a couple friends in high school who went on to play WR/DB at FBS programs. They looked very similar to Washington coming out of high school, and they were 160. I think that’s a big deal when you end up going up against guys like Amara Darboh, Devin Funchess, etc. in college.

      I also tend to weigh what the program probably WANTS to do with a player. For example, I put Brandon Peters down at #75, even though he might be capable of playing at a higher level. I think Michigan wants him to redshirt because they think Speight/O’Korn can get it done, and they know Peters has things to improve. But if it came down to it (injuries, somebody quitting, whatever), then Peters might have the ability to be a top-40 player once you factor in all the extra coaching, practice reps, etc. that he would get as a starter or primary backup. So this countdown doesn’t necessarily rank by ability, but by importance to this year’s team.

      There are also some positions where a year of mental training does a lot. For example, I think a lot of young linemen are in over their heads. Sure, you have the Mason Coles of the world, but most guys don’t understand angles, how to pick up stunts, leverage, etc. Personally, I think Jones offers more than Kemp as a freshman because Kemp needs to work on his body a little bit, and he’s also going to have to be a good technician and weight room warrior because he’s not the most blessed athlete. On the flip side, Jones isn’t very big, but he’s likely stronger and quicker than he was last year, and he probably understands football a bit better after already spending a year with Greg Mattison.

      So I think a year or two means a lot. But sometimes, it’s hard to overcome great athletes like Rashan Gary, Jabrill Peppers, etc.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Jul 22, 2016 at 5:58 PM

      I don’t think there is a clear answer here. It depends on the circumstances. If a guy was CB who red-shirted while other classmates played and you never hear any buzz then the chances of him being a starting-caliber player are dim and any recruit will immediately slot above him in terms of future potential. OTOH, if a guy is sitting for valid reasons (physical development, deep talent at his position, etc.) then there’s not much reason to doubt somebody like that and you assume the extra year gives them an edge over an equivalent player a class behind.

      In general, most great players will make some noise as freshman. Brady, Edwards, and many many more didn’t – those teams were stacked with NFL talent though.

  2. DonAZ
    Comments: 523
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    Jul 22, 2016 at 10:26 AM

    Kickers and punters are odd ducks.

    In an ideal world, you’d *never* use the punter. All drives would result in either a TD or a FG.

    In an ideal world, the kicker would only be used for kickoffs and PATs, and they’d do a lot of both if the punter was never needed.

    So in that ideal world a kicker or punter ranks low. But the world is not ideal, and when a kicker or punter is needed … he is urgently needed.

    I’m inclined to value both to a point. I’d be inclined to *really* value a kicker if they were rock-solid from anywhere inside 60 yards. I’d be inclined to *really* value a punter if they could flip the field on a consistent basis regardless of where they’re punting from. But such kickers or punters would be very rare. Whether Nordin is that guy I have no idea, but I doubt it.

    So #51? Yeah, I guess so. 🙂

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Jul 22, 2016 at 6:23 PM

      Not sure every punt is ‘urgent’ – but yeah, FG kickers are generally used in high leverage situations (or extra points I guess).

      I think there is great value in guys you can trust inside the 40 like Gibbons became the last 2 years and Allen was last year. The 45-60 range isn’t automatic for anyone, even NFL guys. It’s a nice luxury to have but on the other hand, sometimes it’s better to have a coach hand-cuffed in this regard, since they tend to make overly conservative decisions.

      I don’t think kickers are quite as much of a wildcard as Brian Cook is making them seem lately. Some of the top-rated guys have really lived up to the hype. Not all but I’m not sure it’s any less unpredictable than other positions. Michigan’s recruited a few that have done well (Epstein, Mesko, Hagerup). Gibbons had a really atypical career and I think that’s got people feeling more uncertain than is warranted.

      • DonAZ
        Comments: 523
        Joined: 8/12/2015
        Jul 23, 2016 at 3:48 PM

        When I wrote that about punters, I had in mind the scenario where Michigan is backed up to their own goal line and the punter has his back heel an inch from the back of the endzone. In those cases a punter who can reliably boom a punt to put the opponents back on the 30 or so would be a hell of an asset.

        But I live in a dream world — I want a FG kicker that’s a lock for anything at the 50 and in, and a punter who can pin the other team back to the 1 yard line every time.

        Mostly I just want Michigan to win every game in such a convincing manner I never once have to worry during the game. 🙂

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 6285
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Jul 24, 2016 at 4:00 PM

          I’m with you Don. If the high expectations for Michigan this year come to fruition there shouldn’t be that many close games where the FG kicker is a difference maker.

          Then again, with the season perhaps coming down to @MSU and @OSU it may be a special teams play that makes or breaks the season for Michigan.

  3. Lanknows
    Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Jul 22, 2016 at 6:16 PM

    I’d put Nordin about 20-25 spots higher. I don’t expect Allen to be able to punt, kick, and kick-off. That’s asking too much of a single guy. Nordin projects to have an immediate role.

    Allen’s proven himself as a punter – even though he didn’t win the job last year, his punting has been consistently praised by coaches and insiders for 3 years now. Both his punts (in ’13 and ’15) went over 50 yards. Sitting behind O’Neill is nothing to be embarrassed about and he was listed as co-starter because he was still the go-to guy in situations where Michigan needed distance.

    Allen’s less proven as a kicker. Yes – the results last year were excellent (18/22 FG) but the vast majority of those were short-distance kicks. I think only 1 made FG was beyond 40 yards. Michigan preferred going on 4th down than attempting a long field goal, which should tell you something.

    Kicking can be hard to predict, and Harbaugh will play the best guy, even if it’s on both sides of the ball. Still – Nordin comes in with a Hagerup-like recruiting profile, a big leg, a big personality. If he can handle kickoffs and maybe longer-distance FGs that would keep Allen’s duties at a reasonable level (and avoid putting a critical player in situations where he has to tackle people on kickoffs).

    Red-shirting kickers is setting scholarships on fire. It’s not like QB or OL where a year of development or apprenticeship makes a big difference. Nordin was recruited to compete for a job from day 1. So was Andrew David so it doesn’t always work out as designed, but if Nordin is red-shirting it would probably be bad news for Michigan.

    Red-shirting kickers is suboptimal. Having one guy do everything is suboptimal (because of the risk involved). Nordin should be a contributor if he is anywhere near his recruiting profile. It wouldn’t surprised me if he was the full-time PK with Allen dedicating himself to punting fulltime.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Jul 22, 2016 at 6:31 PM

      I think the PK competition may drag into the season, but Nordin should get chances in low leverage situations early in the year. I think Michigan WANTS Nordin to win the PK and Allen is the insurance policy. We’ll see if Nordin is up for the job.

  4. Painter Smurf
    Comments: 263
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    Painter Smurf
    Jul 22, 2016 at 9:29 PM

    Did Rita Rodriguez direct Nordin’s video? I am all for these kids putting out videos, but c’mon… at least attempt something clever or funny. Can’t see what the point was.

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