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Rockford senior soars to new heights; rated top place kicker in the country

Football   | Scott Burnstein

State Champs! Sports Network

Rockford – Quinn Nordin has surprised even himself.

The Rockford senior never in his life imagined he’d rise to become the No. 1-ranked place kicker in the country. After a monumental offseason on the kicking-camp circuit though, that’s exactly what he is.

Midway through the summer, Nordin (pronounced Nor-Deen) had accumulated more Division I college scholarship offers than any other special-teams player in the whole country. He committed to Penn State in July selecting the Nittany Lions over the other schools including Michigan, Michigan State, Arizona State and Georgia.

And he did it with a flair. His much-anticipated announcement was made public via a video posted on Twitter showing him walking off a private jet with a Penn State shirt on.

“My dream my whole life was to play college football, maybe follow in my dad’s footsteps and play at Central Michigan,” Nordin said. “I didn’t in a million years expect to have as many opportunities, as many offers as I got. I’m incredibly thankful and feel incredibly blessed to be in the position I am in right now.”

Penn State was the first power-conference program to offer the strong-legged Nordin. He wanted to stay loyal to a school and a coaching staff that had been loyal to him.

“I just felt a special connection immediately at Penn State, it was the school that I had the most natural fit with, both academically and athletically from the beginning of the entire process,” he said. “The academic aspect of college is equally important as football for me.”

Nordin’s ascent up the recruiting charts began at the Kornblue Kicking Academy last winter in Florida. At the conclusion of the academy’s four-day showcase in January, a camp that the top 50 kickers receive invites and where he booted a 65-yarder in drills, he returned to Michigan with camp MVP honors and the No. 1 ranking at his position.

Some in the Penn State media think Nordin will make an impact right away. Nittany Lions blogger Nick Polak speculates that Nordin could start as a true freshman.

“He’ll likely have the team’s kicking job before he even steps on campus,” Polak said. “Depending on how their kickers fare this year, at the very least, he’ll seriously challenge to be the program’s starting kicker next season.”

Although Rockford lost its opener, 37-24, Nordin was in prime form. He made all three extra points tries and he drilled a 35-yard field goal.

With his whirlwind offseason behind him, he's simply trying to enjoy the ride the rest of his time in high school.

"This has been a once in a lifetime experience," Nordin said. "I still can't believe how far I've come in the last year. I'm grateful for all that has happened to me and just want to have an amazing senior year at school and on the football field."