Nebraska: In-House with Jordan Congdon

As the talent grows in this year's recruiting class, people wonder, ponder and speculate about who out of this class might make the biggest and most immediate impact for the Huskers. You might not have to look any further than Jordan Congdon as his specialty addresses some of the woes that Nebraska had this year. It's not often a kicker is placed in such high regard, but head coach, Bill Callahan thought so much of this commit that even before he visited Marlon Lucky, the head man visited him.

It's always nice as a commit to get a visit from the head coach at your house. Well, I would guess anyway, but if anything, it's a reaffirming to the commit and their family that this is truly the place to be. For Jordan's mother (Gayla), it was just what they needed to know just how important he was to them. "It says a lot that the head coach visits the kicker before Marlon Lucky." She said. "It tells us a lot about what they think of Jordan and just reaffirms everything we already believed."

That belief that NU has in Jordan, well, it would be hard not to have that if you were a school looking for one of the best kickers in the country. So good in fact, that in a state that actually combines the statistics of eight-man football and eleven-man football in tabulating statistical leaders, when it comes to scoring, Jordan is still the best.

The state record for points scored in a season was in eight-man football as you might assume. 261 points to be exact. In the semi-finals of the playoffs this year, Congdon ended matching that total. Congdon actually scored 44 points in the final four games St. Augustine high. Added to that, Congdon also finished just one field goal shy of the career mark in the state.

Here's the really impressive part.

During the playoffs this year, Congdon did something that is one of those things people talk about around the office water-coolers. One of those ‘did you see that' or ‘I can't believe he did that' type of things. And, the sheer ability to do that speaks to something his kicking coach, Even Arapastaphis said of Jordan in him having an ability he had rarely seen.

"He can adjust on that last step." Arapastaphis said. "He sees that ball and while almost every kicker out there once they get into that last step, that's pretty much it, Jordan can still adjust to the ball."

That particular gift served him well and in astonishing fashion in the post-season, because Congdon had to do just that.

First, let's set this up. First, you have college goal posts and they are as expected, not as easy to kick balls through than ones at the high school level. And, Congdon is attempting this from 44 yards.

Normally, for someone like Jordan, this still isn't that great of a feat as he's accomplished it many ‘o time.

What made this particular kick something you are likely never to see in your life or know if you are seeing it at all was kicking that field goal between the uprights……………before the ball even hit the tee.

That's right. Because of a low snap and a less than stellar hold, when Congdon put his foot into the ball, it was still on its way down to the tee. Yet, he saw it, read the angle at the last minute and boom, it's right down the middle.

That's not impressive folks, that's amazing.

Of course, not to Jordan. "I was just doing what I am supposed to." He said. "You just keep your eyes on the ball, look at it and adjust to the angle. Then, you just kick it through."

Now you wonder by Bill Callahan sought to visit this young standout so soon?

With the special teams' woes that Nebraska has experienced over the last one, even two years, Congdon seems like the type with the talent to come in right away to play. It's what Jordan is trying for as any real athlete would, but you can be that it's a job that the coaches are hoping he takes right away. To that end, Jordan stays humble, but he knows exactly what he has to do. "I'm going into compete." Jordan said. "Nobody is trying to be second, so everyone expects David and I to battle for the starting job."

"That's what I work out for, what I practice for. I'm a kicker. I want to kick."

Congdon won't waste time in trying to do just that, not even waiting a week after he graduates before arriving on campus in June. Up until that time, his kicking coach will make it back to California from New York to do yet more refinement of his technique.

It's part of the job or in Jordan's case, almost a part of his life as being a kicker is all-consuming. But, you'd have to admit that if you were as good as he was at doing what he does, you'd probably be a little obsessed as well.

It's that type of obsession that we have come to know Bill Callahan is particularly fond of and one Jordan's mom says the young Congdon gravitates to quite well. "You know what he was doing after the playoffs." She asked rhetorically. "He was working out in the weight room."

"That's the way he is. He doesn't know anymore than doing everything he can to do better than he did before. He'll never be outworked by anyone and we know that is a big reason why he is where he is today."

Jordan himself looks at the work not as a by-product of his goals, but simply as a by-product of who wand what he is. "If you want to play, you have to work." He said. "And, you have to work harder than the other guy."

"You can't expect to win if you aren't willing to give everything you have and try as hard as you can to give even more."

That's probably why Nebraska's head coach did visit Jordan Congdon so soon. That's probably why when he arrived in California, it was his house he stopped by first. While kickers may go unnoticed except in the best or worst of times, every single coach knows that if you have a good one, you can change the course of a game.

And, let's remember, Bill Callahan was with the Oakland Raiders when they became the first team in possibly forever to draft a kicker in the first round when they took Florida State's Sebastian Janikowski.

This coach knows what a solid kicker means to a team. It's just nice for the Congdons that they just got a reminder of that. "It was great having him here." Jordan said. "To have him travel all that way and visit me before all those other guys, it feels good."

"It really lets you know you are wanted and for a kicker, that's nice to know."

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