Huskers showing interest

It would make sense that Nebraska is in the market for a kicker in 2011 with the pending graduation of Alex Henery and possibly that of Adi Kunalic unless he gets a redshirt. Regardless, it's time for Nebraska to start looking nationally for a place kicker and they seem to have their eye on one out in California. As of right now, this kicker is coming in for the kicking academy in Lincoln.

Connor Loftus is a 6-foot-0 and 180-pound kicker from Anaheim (Calif.) Servite. Loftus has been preparing for the transition that he will see from high school to college and he knows that he will see some benefits from it this year.

"I have been working a lot this spring on kicking off of the ground," Loftus said. "I am working on the 1" kick off tee right now as well and it's been a big help for me.

"It's requiring some adjustments, but I think that it will pay off for me when I go to college. That way if I get there and need to kick I will be able to as a freshman or redshirt freshman."

Don't underestimate the transition that kickers have to make from high school to football. Loftus came up with his best analogy to describe the transition.

"It's a big adjustment. It's a lot like going from a pee wee football to a normal sized football. Once you start getting used to it then it becomes normal for you to do."

Loftus has noticed some difference about kicking off of the taller and the shorter tees. He knows where he needs to improve, but has seen some gains.

"You lose a little bit of height on the shorter tee, but I have actually gained a little bit of distance. You drive the ball more so I have to get some height again and get back into the 4.2 hang time range."

Loftus had a solid percentage last year and hit on a pretty long field goal. He also only missed one PAT. "I was 9-for-13 with a long of 46 yards. I don't remember what my misses were. I think that I only missed one PAT, but we scored a lot last season."

There is just one offer on the table for Loftus, but that could change at any time. He is in contact with some of the nation's best programs and they all seem close to offering.

"I have an offer from North Carolina State and I have been talking with a lot of schools. I have been talking to Florida, LSU, Nebraska, USC, Boise State and Kansas."

Loftus knows what he is looking for in a school. He has to have a school that has a good balance between the academics and the football.

"Academics are pretty big for me. I have a 4.8 GPA and so it's important for me. I am also into big-time football. I want to go somewhere where they play good football.

"I am looking into going into business. That is what my father graduated with and that is what my brother is in right now so I am hoping to get into that."

Loftus has a brother that is also kicking in DI football right now. His brother took a scholarship to kick and punt and is competing right now for time this coming season.

"My brother is at SMU and is on scholarship. I think that he is going to redshirt this year, but he is competing for a spot right now. He's a kicker and a punter."

Nebraska has been pretty up-front with Loftus about their interest in him. Loftus knows that he will need to get to camp to even have a chance of getting a scholarship.

"They sound pretty serious about offering. They said that I have to go to their camp so they can see me and get a real good feel for me. It's different on film and live in person.

"They said that if I go to camp that they are going to offer the best guy at camp and they see me as one of the best guys. They are going to take a kicker this year."

As of right now making the camp at Nebraska is definitely on the agenda for Loftus. He has really enjoyed talking with the coaches at Nebraska so far.

"I have good interest in Nebraska, but I don't know a lot about them beyond them being the Cornhuskers. I really just don't know a lot about them at all.

"I think that I am going to try and make it out to their camp. I do know that their coaching staff is awesome. I really do like their coaches at Nebraska."

Nebraska does have a good sales pitch when it comes to kickers and they have been working it on Loftus. There is a lot of proof when it comes to Nebraska producing kicking talent.

"They have been telling me that they have two kickers in the NFL right now; I can't think of their names though. He said that they know kickers at Nebraska.

"They also said that their kicker/punter that they have right now is pretty amazing. They were saying that they thought he would get drafted next year."

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