Michigan Targets Cali Kicker

The Michigan coaching staff is leaving no stone unturned in its effort to secure a kicker for its 2011 recruiting class. Previously they had Boise State commit Matt Goudis in for a visit. Now they're taking aim at yet another left coast kicking prospect, Anaheim (CA) Servite high's, Connor Loftus.


Connor Loftus Profile

Sam Webb:  I hear Michigan is one of the schools recruiting you really hard.  When did the Wolverines get on you?

Connor Loftus:  "Probably about a week and a half ago, two weeks.  I don't really know for sure.  Coach Dews called me up and I talked to Coach Dews for a while and stuff and he came out to California and he saw me kick.  I guess he liked what he saw.  Talked to Coach Rodriguez and got an offer."

Sam Webb:  Were you expecting them to offer you so soon?

Connor Loftus:  "I wasn't really expecting it, I thought they might, but I didn't really know for sure.  They called Coach Dews, Coach Tony Dews called me, he has been recruiting and stuff, he called me up and said I talked to Coach Rodriguez and we decided you were going to be the guy and that type of thing."

Sam Webb:  Tell me about your season.  How is it going?

Connor Loftus:  "I'm still playing.  We're undefeated.  It has been a good year.  I am 13 for 20, but I haven't missed a field goal from under 40 yards.  We've kicked a lot of long field goals and stuff to, missed a few 50s, but I made a couple too.  I made a 52 and 53 in close games."

Sam Webb:  Do you kick off the ground or off a tee?

Connor Loftus:  "Most high school kickers kick off a tee, either a one inch or two inch tee.  I didn't want to kick off the ground in high school because some of the fields that we play on are dirt fields and stuff and they are kind of hard to kick off of.  I kick off on an 1/8th of an inch tee.  It is pretty small, but it helps."

Sam Webb:  Just want to get a little background on you.  What kind of tutelage have you had to get so good?  Were you a kicking camp guy or has it all been your high school coach?  How did you get to where you are as far developing as a kicker?

Connor Loftus:  "I learned how to kick from my dad and my uncle was a pro punter.  So he has helped me a lot punting wise.  My brother is a kicker too.  So we have grown up kicking.  We've grown up as football players, but we turned out to be pretty good at kicking footballs.  There is a guy called Nacho and he is the guy that trains me and he's the man."

Sam Webb:  What other schools have offered you so far?

Connor Loftus:  "Boise State offered me early in the game, but I think they've got a guy committed so I'm not going to go there.  NC State, North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Navy and Air Force and like a lot of Ivy League schools so far."

Sam Webb:  You mentioned a lot of schools that are on the opposite side of the country. Is distance from home going to be a factor for you when you get ready to make your decision?

Connor Loftus:  "No it is not.  My parents want me to branch out and find something new, a new experience.  So that's part of the deal."

Sam Webb:  What is your routine on the field?  Are you an ice-water in the veins, stone cold focus type of guy? Do you have a routine that gets you focused?  How do you operate on the field?

Connor Loftus:  "On kickoffs I go back, take my steps and everything.  I sing like a really melodic song and I'm just chill back there.  I have my little routine, then I look in the corner, then I point at one of my buddies on the kickoff team, and then we go.  That's how we do kickoffs.  On field goals, I kind of just say something over and over in my head the two things that I need to focus on – ‘backswing, up'.  So I'm back there and I look up… ‘backswing, up'… and then go and just drill it."  

Sam Webb:  What about your kickoffs?   Do you guys keep stats or keep track of how many touchbacks you have and that type of thing?

Connor Loftus:  "No I'm not for sure.  My parents tried to figure it out.  I was like 80% or 85% touchbacks something like that, I do not know."

Sam Webb:  Have you taken any visits yet to any schools?

Connor Loftus:  "No official visits.  We're playing right now.  We got a big game this week.  We have the CIF championship and if we win that, we will probably go to the state championship and play against Concord De La Salle.  I haven't really had any time to go out and make any visits.  I've been focusing on winning a championship."

Sam Webb:  When you finally do get ready to take visits, do you think you will take all five or are you going to take less than that?

Connor Loftus:  "I don't know.  I think that Michigan is definitely a place that I will check out and a few other places for sure.  I really don't know.  I'm just waiting to see."


The Michigan Insider Top Stories

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Connor Loftus Profile

Sam Webb: I hear Michigan is one of the schools recruiting you really hard. When did the Wolverines get on you?

Connor Loftus: \"Probably about a week and a half ago, two weeks. I don't really know for sure. Coach Dews called me up and I talked to Coach Dews for a while and stuff and he came out to California and he saw me kick. I guess he liked what he saw. Talked to Coach Rodriguez and got an offer.\"

Sam Webb: Were you expecting them to offer you so soon?

Connor Loftus: \"I wasn't really expecting it, I thought they might, but I didn't really know for sure. They called Coach Dews, Coach Tony Dews called me, he has been recruiting and stuff, he called me up and said I talked to Coach Rodriguez and we decided you were going to be the guy and that type of thing.\"

Sam Webb: Tell me about your season. How is it going?

Connor Loftus: \"I'm still playing. We're undefeated. It has been a good year. I am 13 for 20, but I haven't missed a field goal from under 40 yards. We've kicked a lot of long field goals and stuff to, missed a few 50s, but I made a couple too. I made a 52 and 53 in close games.\"

Sam Webb: Do you kick off the ground or off a tee?

Connor Loftus: \"Most high school kickers kick off a tee, either a one inch or two inch tee. I didn't want to kick off the ground in high school because some of the fields that we play on are dirt fields and stuff and they are kind of hard to kick off of. I kick off on an 1/8th of an inch tee. It is pretty small, but it helps.\"

Sam Webb: Just want to get a little background on you. What kind of tutelage have you had to get so good? Were you a kicking camp guy or has it all been your high school coach? How did you get to where you are as far developing as a kicker?

Connor Loftus: \"I learned how to kick from my dad and my uncle was a pro punter. So he has helped me a lot punting wise. My brother is a kicker too. So we have grown up kicking. We've grown up as football players, but we turned out to be pretty good at kicking footballs. There is a guy called Nacho and he is the guy that trains me and he's the man.\"

Sam Webb: What other schools have offered you so far?

Connor Loftus: \"Boise State offered me early in the game, but I think they've got a guy committed so I'm not going to go there. NC State, North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Navy and Air Force and like a lot of Ivy League schools so far.\"

Sam Webb: You mentioned a lot of schools that are on the opposite side of the country. Is distance from home going to be a factor for you when you get ready to make your decision?

Connor Loftus: \"No it is not. My parents want me to branch out and find something new, a new experience. So that's part of the deal.\"

Sam Webb: What is your routine on the field? Are you an ice-water in the veins, stone cold focus type of guy? Do you have a routine that gets you focused? How do you operate on the field?

Connor Loftus: \"On kickoffs I go back, take my steps and everything. I sing like a really melodic song and I'm just chill back there. I have my little routine, then I look in the corner, then I point at one of my buddies on the kickoff team, and then we go. That's how we do kickoffs. On field goals, I kind of just say something over and over in my head the two things that I need to focus on – ‘backswing, up'. So I'm back there and I look up… ‘backswing, up'… and then go and just drill it.\"

Sam Webb: What about your kickoffs? Do you guys keep stats or keep track of how many touchbacks you have and that type of thing?

Connor Loftus: \"No I'm not for sure. My parents tried to figure it out. I was like 80% or 85% touchbacks something like that, I do not know.\"

Sam Webb: Have you taken any visits yet to any schools?

Connor Loftus: \"No official visits. We're playing right now. We got a big game this week. We have the CIF championship and if we win that, we will probably go to the state championship and play against Concord De La Salle. I haven't really had any time to go out and make any visits. I've been focusing on winning a championship.\"

Sam Webb: When you finally do get ready to take visits, do you think you will take all five or are you going to take less than that?

Connor Loftus: \"I don't know. I think that Michigan is definitely a place that I will check out and a few other places for sure. I really don't know. I'm just waiting to see.\"

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