Connor Kornbrath, a rising senior kicker and punter for Bridgeport High School, thought he was just going to watch a scrimmage during West Virginia's spring football practice, but his visit ended up being much more than that.
"In addition to the scrimmage, we toured the entire football facility and got to talk to several of the coaches," said Kornbrath, who is working in all three kicking disciplines (kickoffs, placekicking and punting). "I dropped off my highlight tapes and my transcript for Coach Stewart, and he said they would be looking at those and getting back to me."
Like most kickers, Kornbrath hasn't received a Division I offer yet, but he isn't letting that bother him as he makes the rounds of schools and camps during the spring and summer.
"I'm really not too worried about offers right now. I just want to have a good summer and have a good senior season. I was in a recruiting call for NCSA and they gave you a slide show that we watched on the Internet, and they talked about how it's difficult for kickers to get an offer. I'm just going to keep working hard, and in the end I think I will get some offers."
In pursuit of that goal, Kornbrath is working with former WVU kicker Matt McCullough (2001-02), who has opened a fitness center in Bridgeport, W. Va.
"I lift there at his place, and then I kick two or three times per week. I do a lot of exercises that help with my kicking strength, like resistance band work, lunges, squats and other things that work my leg. Matt watches me kick, and on an average day I do maybe 50-60 kicks per session.
"I don't have a set number of kicks that I go through, but I've gotten my workouts to the level where I know my limits so I don't get tired or worn down," Kornbrath continued. "The only time that has happened was when I was at a three-day camp, and we just kicked constantly, and I got a little sore, But I know my limits and don't overdo it."
Kornbrath has received interest from a number of schools, In addition to the Mountaineers, Maryland, Pitt, Vanderbilt, Bowling Green, Fordham, Wagner and Marshall have been in contact. He kicked at Maryland and West Virginia's camps last year, and is planning a return visit to WVU, among others, this year. He's also scheduled visits to Pitt and Wagner, and will kick in a National Showcase camp on the weekend of May 14.
In addition to working for a scholarship offer, Kornbrath has a more immediate goal arising from his off-season work. After making seven of his 12 field goal attempts (including a 51-yarder) a year ago, he wants to improve his consistency.
"I don't want to miss a single field goal or extra point, and I want to get at least 80% of my kickoffs into the end zone," he said.
BlueGoldNews.com will have more from Connor as his summer camps and visits play out.