Penn State kicker Jordan Stout — who has made a name for himself for kicking a football very far — is going to be doing that in more ways than one this upcoming season if things go according to plan.
With the departure of longtime punter Blake Gillikin, Penn State finds itself still a year away from the arrival of Sander Sahaydak, the highest rated kicker in the 2021 recruiting class.
So there are really only so many choices to work with. There's Jake Pinegar taking care of most field goal and extra point duties, and then Stout, who spent the entirety of the 2019-20 season kicking off and sending the ball absurdly far distances in the process. In fact 66 of his 83 kicks resulted in touchbacks and consistently long fields for Penn State's opponents to deal with.
But Stout has punted too, and it would appear Penn State is in need of a punter.
"Blake was a really good mentor," Stout said on Thursday during a conference call with reporters. "If there was anything I ever needed help with because he is a little more seasoned than I am. Just to have Blake beside me like I mean like 'Hey in the stadium the wind is like this' it helps a lot and then just to see himdo super well in games has given me a confidence to do it this year."
As of right now that's the plan, Stout will take care of kickoffs, long ranged field goals, punting and holding for Pinegar. It makes for a busy afternoon or night out on the field, but it comes with the job.
And speaking of jobs, while kickers essentially never leave early for the NFL, as a redshirt junior, Stout isn't wrong to be thinking a little bit about his future and what comes next.
The answer of course is kicking, and by doing a little bit of everything Stout can show NFL teams that there are plenty of ways he can earn a check.
"I pride myself as a combo guy," Stout, who has been punting since his sophomore year of high school. "Kicking, punting and kicking off and holding this year too. My goal is to make the NFL so I think the best way for me to make it to the NFL is exactly what I'm doing now and show NFL teams that I can do all three."
“In a normal day I hit about 30 punts and 10-20 field goals,” Stout added. “But I was probably there for an hour and a half doing that because I would be doing drills. I do a lot of drills because kickers can’t kick that much. It’s just like a pitcher in baseball.”
In the immediate future Penn State will look ahead to many thing, including playing at Virginia Tech, where Stout transferred from just two years ago.
And the thought of booming a few kicks past his old teammates and coaches?
Stout just smiles.