There are many uncertainties surrounding college football right now. The 2020 season is still in jeopardy, and even if a season does occur it will do so likely in empty stadiums with a conference-only schedule. Still, it is never too early to take a look at the Michigan depth chart and the players slated to contribute whenever football does resume. Join us as we comb through the roster and answer key questions heading into this fall.
Quinn Nordin, true SR
247 Composite Ranking: 3 stars (K 1, Overall 694)
2019 Stats: 28-of-29 XP, 10-of-13 FG
More than any other position on the roster, fans would love for their kickers to be boring — wait your turn, make your kicks, stay out of the headlines. The adventures of Quinn Nordin have been anything but that, however, starting with his unusual recruiting visit and continuing with him over the last three years in Ann Arbor.
Nordin has an extremely talented leg, to be sure. His very first game saw him connect on a 55-yarder, and his most recent outing featured a bomb from 57 yards out. However, his 75.5 percent accuracy leaves some desire for improvement, and accordingly the starting job is never completely solidified.
Can Nordin carry his strong finish from 2019 into his senior season?
Jim Harbaugh came up with some convoluted kicking rotation to start last year which would ostensibly give both Nordin and Jake Moody a fair shot at the job. While Moody seemed up for the task, going 5-for-6 over the first stretch of the season, Nordin really struggled, missing all three of his field goal attempts during this time frame. Perhaps it was a rhythm issue, but something was just off.
The tides would turn, though. Moody went 1-for-3 during late October and early November, opening up the window for Nordin. The latter made the most of the opportunity, knocking in a field goal against Maryland, then three against Michigan State to reclaim the job. He ended the year making his final 10 attempts (although infamously missing an extra point) and was Harbaugh’s clear choice at place kicker.
Both players will probably see some action in 2020, but given how Nordin finished the year, it should be his job to lose. Harbaugh is not afraid to go with whoever is hottest, and it seems like Nordin really found a groove once the rotation idea was scrapped. He might never be the calm presence that fans want out of kickers, but he proved reliable down the stretch last season and has earned the right to take the starting role into his last season.