The kicker on Williamson

After picking up a Stanford scholarship offer following a dazzling performance in the Cardinal's two-day kicking camp last month, Texas kicker Jordan Williamson didn't exactly spend much time letting the weight of his first offer sink in. In fact, less than 24 hours after getting news of Stanford's interest, Williamson made a verbal commitment to the Cardinal, effectively ending his recruitment.

"I feel like being a kicker I would like to go to the best school and get the best education I could and I felt like Stanford would be perfect for that," Jordan Williamson said.

Williamson's family was thrilled with his decision to become a Cardinal.

"We're so excited," said Jordan's mom, Laura Burton. "I mean, really, it's the best-case scenario in terms of a combination of academics and athletics. I don't think we ever dreamed of him going to such a wonderful place. It feels far away, so I have felt a little bit of sadness about the fact that he's going to be so far, but I'm just saving up my frequent flier miles, ready to get out there for everything I can."

Burton was also impressed the patience and understanding the Stanford coaches displayed throughout the course of Williamson's recruitment..

"I think we both felt a little bit intimated," Laura said. "This was our first time through this process, so we didn't know what to expect and [the coaches] just made us feel so comfortable. Anyone that we had interacted with was just so down-to-earth and nice."

While Williamson is capable of handling both placekicking and punting duties, Stanford is recruiting him mainly as a placekicker, and with good reason. In his junior year, Williamson was a perfect 36/36 on PAT's and was 10/14 on field goals, with a long of 47 yards. Even more impressive, however, was the frequency with which Williamson's kickoffs went flying out of the back of the end zone.

"I have a pretty good leg for kickoffs, and that seems to be one of my things, but I'm also pretty accurate on field goals," Williamson said. "I think [my skills are] where they need to be, but I also know I can definitely improve."

Because kicking requires such a different set of skills than any other position, Williamson goes about trying to improve in a different way than most other football players. Instead of spending time in the gym doing squats, dead-lifts and curls, Williamson does a number of kicking-specific drills designed to improve distance and accuracy.

"Normally I would just go through some steps that help me for field goals," Williamson said. "Instead of full-on kicks, I'll do some field goals with just standing next to the ball and not taking any steps. Then I'll do one step kicks and then I'll do [normal] field goals but I'll just aim at one of the posts to work on accuracy. After that I'll just work on kickoffs."

With his recruitment now over, Williamson plans on taking it easy for the rest of the summer, after participating in an exhausting series of kicking camps.

"I'm trying to taper down and take it easier," Williamson said. "I'm kind of worn down from all the kicking I've doing. I've pretty much hit that wall."

Still, the rest of the summer won't be all rest and relaxation. Sometime in the next couple of weeks, Williamson plans on starting to fill out the Stanford application.

"I've contacted my counselor to change my schedule and get everything situated where I'll be good to go, but my counselor's been out of town so we haven't done it yet," Williamson said. And then I think they're sending me all the application papers and I everything that I need so I'll be doing it pretty soon."

After Williamson completes the written part of the application, he plans on taking a challenging course load to help ensure admittance into the university.

"They want me to have at least two AP classes my senior year, in addition to taking SAT at least twice," said Williamson, who reports a 3.6 GPA. "They want me to have several hard classes and not just have it be a blow-off year. They want to make sure that I'm keeping my grades up through football season."

And if all that goes according to plan, there seems to be very little that would keep Williamson from staying committed to the Cardinal.

"It's almost completely solid," Williamson said. "I honestly don't think there's any way I would change my commitment."

Williamson's excitement in being a part of what will likely be another top-25 recruiting class is palpable.

"I've looked up several of the recruits and they seem to be pretty good," Williamson said. "I think the class is coming together great. I looked up recruits online and I want to say they were ranked top 20 [currently No. 8 nationally by Scout.com] for recruits this year for the Class of 2010. That was exciting for me, knowing that they're getting so many good players coming in, so we'll have a good program."


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