UGA was a finalist this morning for a commitment from one of the country’s top-rated kickers. Arizon State, Michigan and Penn State all made the final group for Michigan kicker Quinn Nordin on Friday morning.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound prospect decided on Penn State in a ceremony at his high school stadium on Friday.
He told the AJC shortly after his announcement that UGA was his third choice. He said that Michigan was a very close second. He made that video above with the help of a close friend “about two or three weeks ago” so it was obvious that Penn State had been his choice for quite some time.
“This was a very hard decision,” Nordin said. “Michigan is maybe two hours away from my house. Georgia was a dream school for me. I had total confidence growing up that if Georgia ever knocked on the door I would go there. I never really thought of Penn State or anything. But I that all changed once I visited there and saw the school.”
He said that all four schools offered immediate playing time at kicker. That would be the chance to kick immediately for all four years.
“You have to be able to play,” Nordin said. “All of these schools were offering the ability to play right away but at the the same time you can’t run away from competition if you want to be a great kicker. They were offering me and expecting me to come in and play as a freshman.”
Why not UGA? He answered that question by saying it was more of a matter of what Penn State and Michigan offered than why he didn’t sign with UGA.
“Great school academically at Georgia,” Nordin said. “The coaching staff was phenomenal and I have nothing but great things to say about the program. … The Wolverines were a close number two. Definitely. But I am 100 percent happy about my decision and I am glad to finally put it out there that I am going to Penn State.”
Nordin was rated the nation’s top-ranked kicker for the 2016 signing class by KornblueKicking. He drilled a 65-yard field goal off the ground while training in South Florida earlier this year.
He was credited with four kickoffs during an evaluation session which went 75, 75, 77 and 81 yards. His shortest kickoff during that session still traveled 64 yards. Nordin is regarded as a high-level athlete who could also punt in college. He will forego a promising lacrosse career to play major college football.
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UGA also lost out to the Nittany Lions for an elite special teams recruit this summer. Highly-regarded Georgia punter Blake Gillikin committed to Penn State last month after having UGA in his final group.
“I was talking to Blake before and I got him to commit to Penn State,” Nordin said. “I got a couple of other guys to commit to Penn State. Him going to Penn State was another piece to the puzzle. He will be the punter and I will back him up and then do all the kicking at Penn State.”
Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.