Nick Jordan gave the Longhorns their 18th football commitment for the 2012 recruiting class Monday.
“It feels great,” Jordan said. “There’s been more support than I could have even imagined.”
Jordan camped at Texas in June and came away impressed, so much so that he decided to reach out to the UT coaching staff.
“I got in touch with [co-offensive coordinator] Major Applewhite, and he told me he liked what he saw at the camp,” Jordan said. “Since then, Texas was talking to me about the possibility of a scholarship.”
Each NCAA Division 1 football program is allotted only 85 scholarships a year. Spread over four classes, and those who red shirt, coaches have to do their due diligence so as not to waste a scholarship. On average, the Longhorns sign around 20-23 players each year.
“They knew they wanted me but they had to come up with a scholarship. They had to decide if they wanted to use one on a kicker or save it for somebody else,” Jordan said.
Jordan, who is considered a national top-five kicker, took in the Texas campus at a visit Monday, where Applewhite told him to call head coach Mack Brown, who was away on vacation.
“I called, and they offered me the scholarship,” he said.
As a junior, Jordan converted eight of just nine field goal attempts, a small number for somebody with a blue-chip leg.
“My coaches don’t like to kick very much,” he said, laughing. “The last game of the season, in the quarterfinals, I kicked four field goals. So disregarding that game, I hardly had any attempts.”
The Texas coaches have told Jordan to “keep it up” and put in work in the weight room. His leg, though, is already plenty strong.
“The longest I’ve ever hit in practice was 70 yards, without a tee,” he said. “In a game, I’ve hit one from 43 yards out, but that’s the farthest attempt I’ve had. I feel like I could hit 60 with the wind.”
Texas usually uses one leg for both field goals and kickoff duties — though current kicker Justin Tucker punts, too. That works fine with Jordan.
“I actually prefer to kickoff, I feel like I can crush the ball,” he said.
This continues the pattern that Texas has developed. Every other year, the Longhorns have offered a scholarship to a kicker, starting with Hunter Lawrence in 2006 and continuing with Justin Tucker (2008) and William Russ (2010).