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Despite Quinn Nordin's strong finish, Michigan says kicker battle hasn't been won

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

How Michigan kicker Quinn Nordin finished last season was a perfect 10.

Nordin was on a hot streak making his final 10 field goals after he had emerged as the starter for good late in the season at Maryland. He kicked the final five games, taking over for Jake Moody, who had taken over the job from Nordin late in the 2018 season.

Michigan kicker Quinn Nordin made his last 10 field-goal attempts last season.

Those final 10 kicks last season by Nordin included a 57-yarder against Alabama in the Citrus Bowl.

But as the Wolverines prepare for their abbreviated season that opens Oct. 24 at Minnesota, Michigan special teams coordinator Jay Harbaugh isn’t ready to crown a starting kicker.

“We love the way he finished last year,” Harbaugh said of Nordin. “We love the way he’s been practicing. You’re going to put the guy out there that gives you the best chance to win. More than likely, history would say that would be Quinn, but we’ve still got a lot of time in terms of kicking in competitive situations and moving the ball in practices and letting both those guys kick.

“We love everything about both of them. We all love the fact Quinn’s done it on some big stages and he’s got the experience and poise of a veteran. Moody does, too. It’s a good situation overall, and we’ll let the competition play out.”

As for long snapper, now that Camaron Cheeseman has moved on, freshman Greg Tarr and redshirt freshman William Wagner are competing, as well as defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, who was long snapper at Dearborn Divine Child.

“We feel good about the competition and we’ll continue to let that play out,” Harbaugh said.

On kickoff returns, receiver Giles Jackson was an asset last season as a freshman and is the leader heading into the season. Michael Barrett, in line to become the starting viper, also returned last season, but Harbaugh said they’re looking to develop depth. Receiver Ronnie Bell is the main returner on punts, and running back Blake Corum, receiver Mike Sainristil and freshman Eamonn Dennis all will have opportunities.

Will Hart and Brad Robbins are battling at punter.

“They kick a little different ball, (have) different strengths,” Harbaugh said. “It’s really tight right now. They’re making it a hard decision.”

Twitter: @chengelis