Sade an Impact Recruit

Dan Orner is a name some ACC fans might remember from his days as a kicker at North Carolina where he started in 2002 and 2003, connecting on 21-of-30 field goal attempts.

He set several kicking records at UNC and was the first kicker in NCAA history to drill three field goals over 50 yards in one game.

Orner, who kicked in the NFL for the Minnesota Vikings, has coached kickers and punters for the past seven years, instructing at camps such as UNC Chapel Hill, Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, and Lehigh University. He has instructed pro kicker Connor Barth, and has sent several of his kickers to college, including UNC's Casey Barth and NC State's Josh Czajkowski.

When asked about NC State's newest commitment, Niklas Sade, Orner had nothing but high praise for the Raleigh (NC) Wakefield standout.

"I would put him up against any kicker in the country right now in the class of 2011," stated Orner. "He's ready to kick off the ground back to 55 yards and he's as good as it gets."

Sade is rated the No. 3 kicker in the country by Scout.com and a three-star prospect. He has proven himself at various camps and combines, and probably put up his best performance at a college camp over the summer where he earned his first scholarship offer.

"Well, he went to Nebraska over the summer and Nik hit 19-of-20 field goals with Bo Pelini watching," Orner stated. "He knocked in kicks all the way back to 57 yards, which was his longest, and he also kicked 6-of-10 touchbacks from the 30-yard line. Nebraska offered him on the spot.

"That is the type of ability he has. Like I said, I believe he's arguably the No. 1 kicker in the country, and I would put him up against anybody."

Sade's offer from Nebraska was his first and NC State offered shortly thereafter. However, the fact that Nebraska was the first to offer played a role in his decision to commit to the Cornhuskers, as did being able to play for one of the top football programs in the country.

With that being said, Sade continued to evaluate his decision and, according to Orner, he began to really question his decision over the past few weeks.

"The last few weeks we've been weighing some of those situations, and he brought it up to me two weeks ago about maybe staying close to home," said Orner. "It was really weighing heavy on his heart... being able to play at home in front of his family for his hometown school.

"What I told him was the No. 1 thing is to go where you will be the happiest. If football wasn't around, which school would make you the happiest? That was my advice to him, and I believe he was looking to go to NC State."

Orner stated that NC State remained in the picture even after Sade's commitment to Nebraska, but he wasn't sure how long they had been actively recruiting him. However, once Sade started to reconsider his commitment he reached out to the Wolfpack coaching staff to see if his offer was still on the table.

"I think once Nik was thinking serious about this he touched base with NC State," said Orner. "I guess they hadn't had anyone commit yet so the option was still there. He didn't need to visit them anymore recently because he has already visited them numerous times for games and unofficial visits. He's familiar with the school and the coaches."

Orner has been Sade's kicking coach for two years and stated that he had improved tremendously as a placekicker and kickoff specialist.

"I've worked with Niklas since the beginning of his 10th grade year," said Orner. "I've seen him develop from an average kicker to probably the No. 1 kicker in the country.

"I firmly believe he has the ability to come in and start as a field goal kicker and kickoff guy as a freshman at NC State."


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