Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: Hartman: U's Wettstein learns kicking on the job

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: September 6, 2012 - 7:07 AM

Jordan Wettstein, the senior who kicked three field goals, including the game-winner in the Gophers' 30-27 three-overtime victory over UNLV on Thursday, never had kicked in high school or in any type of competitive football game until he walked on at Minnesota and sold former football coach Tim Brewster on giving him an opportunity.

"I've always wanted to [kick], it's always been a dream of mine," said Wettstein, a graduate of De Pere High School in Wisconsin. "I've always loved watching the ball go through the uprights.

"I came in when the old coaching staff was here and I said, 'I'd love to kick a football.' I came in and kicked for three different coaches the first week of school and unfortunately their roster was filled up with three kickers already. They asked me to come back in the spring, and I said, 'Absolutely.' I came and kicked in the spring, and they asked me to join the team."

Wettstein recalled his conversation with a Gophers assistant coach when he was allowed to join the team in the spring of 2010.

"I said, 'No coach, I've never kicked in a game before.' ... I'll never forget the first practice, I didn't even know how to put my helmet on. From there until now, it has been a dream come true with [current Gophers] Coach [Jerry] Kill giving me the opportunity. Hopefully I can take advantage of that. I can't thank him enough for that."

A year ago Wettstein got his chance to be the team's placekicker for the final six games of the season and did not waste the chance. He went a perfect 6-for-6 on field-goal attempts, including a 51-yarder against Illinois.

So Kill has complete confidence in Wettstein handling field goals and kickoffs this season.

Looking back to Wettstein's performance against UNLV, Kill said: "You know what the great thing about Jordan's situation is, is that he missed a field goal early in the game and then he comes back and hits all the critical kicks in overtime.

"That's the thing that we have not, since I've been here -- I can't speak to any other time [in program history] -- but we haven't been really good at fighting back or overcoming things or hanging in a game and going on to win it. If there's a positive about UNLV, it's being able to come back the way we did when things didn't go our way and win the game.

"I think that will build us confidence that we can do that later on down the road. You win it by four touchdowns and maybe we think we're pretty good, and we're not good enough yet."

Kill said Wettstein's ability to mentally bounce back is "a great lesson for all our kids. You have to go on to the next play. If you make a mistake, you can't worry about the last play, go to the next play. Hopefully our kids have learned that. Winning that way is sometimes not a bad way to do it, but we don't want to do it every week, that's for sure."

Peterson speculation

The speculation continues about whether Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will play Sunday at home against Jacksonville. Peterson continues to practice but hasn't scrimmaged. It appears Peterson will not play unless he can convince coach Leslie Frazier that he is 100 percent healthy.

I don't think Peterson will play unless his presence late in the game will mean winning or losing to the Jaguars.

After going 3-13 last year, the Vikings can't afford to start this season by losing at home to a team that finished 5-11 in 2011.

Jottings

• According to Forbes Magazine, securing a new stadium has elevated the value of the Vikings franchise to $975 million -- a 22 percent increase over the previous value of $760.5 million a year ago while playing in the Metrodome. The Vikings franchise is valued at 22nd in the league, behind all other NFC North teams except the Lions at $855 million. ... The Cowboys, who are valued at No. 1 at $2.1 billion, are listed at having $500 million in income compared with the Vikings' $227 million, along with an operating income of $226.7 million compared with the Vikings' $7.2 million.

• The Gophers are predicting ticket sales of 42,000 for Saturday's home football opener with New Hampshire. However, look for maybe 7,000 no-shows who have tickets but aren't interested in watching the Gophers play New Hampshire. So 35,000 is a good guess for Saturday. Some 3,100 student tickets had been sold as of Wednesday, plus 5,500 freshmen were given free tickets to the student section for Saturday's game.

• The Vikings, who have around 7,000 tickets to sell for the Jacksonville game, will have players giving out free tickets for the game this week at the Mall of America.

• Kill said there is a reason why senior Troy Stoudermire had a rough game against UNLV, being called for two serious penalties and dropping a punt that led to a UNLV score.

"I think you have to understand, Troy has truly played five games at corner and then he never played last year," Kill said. "He played two or three ballgames and hadn't played. We had a lot of kids who truly haven't played in a college football game. Troy will rebound and get back, hopefully get that out of the system and move forward. He's competitive enough, he'll do that."

• The Gophers football team starts every practice with a prayer for Gary Tinsley, the former Gophers linebacker who died because of an enlarged heart in April.

• The Gophers men's basketball team can now practice two hours each week until the actual season opener for full practices on Oct. 12. Coach Tubby Smith has divided the two hours and is working one-third of it three days a week.

In Wednesday's drills Mo Walker, the redshirt sophomore forward who has been idle because of injuries the past two years, went full speed. However sixth-year senior forward Trevor Mbakwe, who is still rehabbing his knee after surgery in December, was limited in contact and spent most of his time during the practice lifting weights.

• It's unusual for St. John's football coach John Gagliardi to have transfers, but this year the Johnnies have five, including wide receiver Peter Vakulskas of Chaska, who transferred from Augustana, and Edward Vasquez, a defensive lineman who played at Los Angeles Harbor College.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Video: SidCast: Peterson will play in Game 2

    Thursday September 6, 2012

    Sid says the Vikings won't play star running back Adrian Peterson until the second game of the season and...

  • Thieren Cockran (55) celebrated with Jordan Wettstein (39) at the end...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Minnesota 35 FINAL
Miami 37
Baltimore 13 FINAL
Houston 25
Detroit 20 FINAL
Chicago 14
Cleveland 13 FINAL
Carolina 17
Atlanta 30 FINAL
New Orleans 14
Green Bay 20 FINAL
Tampa Bay 3
Kansas City 12 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
New England 17 FINAL
NY Jets 16
NY Giants 37 FINAL
St. Louis 27
Buffalo 24 FINAL
Oakland 26
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Dallas 42
Seattle 0 2nd Qtr 12:02
Arizona 0
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 108 FINAL
Toronto 118
Memphis 91 FINAL
Cleveland 105
Boston 84 FINAL
Miami 100
Detroit 105 FINAL
Brooklyn 110
LA Lakers 101 FINAL
Sacramento 108
Philadelphia 96 FINAL
Orlando 88
Phoenix 104 FINAL
Washington 92
Indiana 96 4th Qtr 0:19
Minnesota 94
New Orleans 101 FINAL
Oklahoma City 99
Colorado 2 FINAL(SO)
Detroit 1
Dallas 6 FINAL(SO)
Edmonton 5
Buffalo 3 3rd Prd 8:55
Boston 2
Carolina 0 3rd Prd 8:57
NY Rangers 1
Toronto 0 3rd Prd 10:24
Chicago 3
Philadelphia 1 1st Prd 13:47
Winnipeg 0
Harvard 27 FINAL
Virginia 76
Maine 69 FINAL
Army 72
Ferris State 82 FINAL
Bowling Green 68
San Francisco 65 FINAL
Cleveland State 69
Oregon State 52 FINAL
Quinnipiac 60
Coastal Carolina 72 FINAL
Central Arkansas 55
Holy Cross 48 FINAL
Canisius 67
Southern Miss 55 FINAL
Georgia State 68
Western Carolina 66 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 62
Creighton 58 FINAL
North Texas 62
Maryland 73 FINAL
Oklahoma State 64
Cornell 61 FINAL
Radford 74
Vermont 55 FINAL
Saint Louis 58
Loyola-Maryland 52 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Reinhardt 72 FINAL
Winthrop 100
Ark-Little Rock 46 FINAL
Green Bay 66
TX-Pan American 72 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 77
Alabama State 63 FINAL
Evansville 81
FIU 69 FINAL
Hartford 82
Goshen 55 FINAL
Valparaiso 82
Bryant 48 FINAL
Denver 46
Austin Peay 63 FINAL
Lipscomb 69
Tennessee St 47 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 65
South Dakota 67 FINAL
Montana 62
ULM 50 FINAL
Samford 64
Coker 52 FINAL
South Carolina 78
USC 75 FINAL
Boston College 71
Northern Ariz 66 FINAL
Hampton 75
SD Christian 61 FINAL
San Diego 71
UC Irvine 55 FINAL
Bradley 47
Troy 65 FINAL
Nicholls 64
Seton Hall 47 FINAL
Georgia 65
Appalachian St 59 FINAL
Alabama 60
North Dakota St 52 FINAL
Kent State 53
San Jose St 53 FINAL
Washington St 82
Alcorn State 8:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
Sacramento St 9:00 PM
Seattle
Nevada 3 FINAL
Louisiana 16
Utah State 21 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 6
(23) Utah 45 FINAL
Colorado State 10
Western Mich 24 FINAL
Air Force 38
South Alabama 28 FINAL
Bowling Green 33
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Cal-Irvine 55 FINAL
Denver 63
St Marys-CA 52 FINAL
George Washington 70
TX-San Antonio 49 FINAL
Nicholls 57
Portland State 71 FINAL
Columbia 66
Tenn Tech 62 FINAL
Morgan State 56
SMU 43 FINAL
Auburn 56
Quinnipiac 70 FINAL
Hartford 58
Hofstra 75 FINAL
Boston College 61
Eastern Washington 55 FINAL
Georgia Southern 42
Liberty 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 84
Fairleigh Dickinson 74 FINAL
Brown 79
Buffalo 73 FINAL
Long Island 79
Bucknell 74 FINAL
Mount St Marys 49
Stony Brook 70 FINAL
Wagner 76
FIU 83 FINAL
Wofford 75
Duquesne 56 FINAL
Providence 67
Maine 54 FINAL
William & Mary 51
Alabama State 43 FINAL
Samford 56
TX-Pan American 43 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 64
South Dakota St 64 FINAL
Marist 82
Saint Josephs 50 FINAL
(5) Notre Dame 64
Radford 60 FINAL
Virginia Tech 73
(3) Texas 67 FINAL
(4) Texas A&M 65
Rhode Island 60 FINAL
Bryant 56
South Florida 90 FINAL
Penn State 87
Sam Houston St 55 FINAL
TCU 79
Evansville 50 FINAL
IUPUI 62
(14) Maryland 110 FINAL
Coppin State 51
Mercer 59 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 72
NC A&T 43 FINAL
Chattanooga 58
Princeton 84 FINAL
Monmouth 53
Eastern Illinois 69 FINAL
Lehigh 72
Rider 67 FINAL
Binghamton 72
SC State 57 FINAL
Clemson 66
Fairfield 63 FINAL
Iowa State 76
Richmond 70 FINAL
Eastern Kentucky 56
Cleveland State 80 FINAL
Morehead St 72
Kent State 62 FINAL
Colgate 61
South Alabama 43 FINAL
UAB 73
Saint Peters 35 FINAL
Navy 71
Youngstown St 52 FINAL
Pittsburgh 78
NJIT 50 FINAL
Lafayette 66
Davidson 51 FINAL
Charlotte 86
Indiana State 73 FINAL
St Johns 67
Southern U 49 FINAL
Florida 78
Wright State 46 FINAL
Purdue 70
(19) Oklahoma St 66 FINAL
USC 62
Houston 54 FINAL
Texas Tech 60
Ark-Little Rock 66 FINAL
Tulsa 59
Dayton 71 FINAL
Vanderbilt 67
Northern Ariz 37 FINAL
New Mexico 56
UNC-Asheville 60 FINAL
USC Upstate 67
North Dakota 81 FINAL
South Dakota 86
Western Ill 57 FINAL
Marquette 65
Elon 67 FINAL
(6) North Carolina 85
Ball State 59 FINAL
Western Ky 84
(8) Kentucky 68 FINAL
(13) Duke 89
New Orleans 58 FINAL
Alabama 87
Chicago State 47 FINAL
Milwaukee 69
Bowling Green 61 FINAL
Bradley 47
Ill-Springfield 56 FINAL
SE Missouri St 73
Northern Ill 42 FINAL
Northern Iowa 51
(23) Iowa 100 FINAL
Drake 98
Central Michigan 64 FINAL
Minnesota 67
Western Carolina 45 FINAL
North Florida 62
Wyoming 71 FINAL
Colorado 76
Portland 58 FINAL
Boise State 94
Cal Poly 63 FINAL
Colorado State 65
No Dakota State 54 FINAL
Grand Canyon 69
Albany 71 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 49
Oklahoma 64 FINAL
Arkansas 71
Idaho State 63 FINAL
Seattle 55
(18) Michigan State 89 FINAL
(19) Syracuse 76
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Arizona State 88
TX-Arlington 46 FINAL
North Texas 38
Fresno State 68 FINAL
Oregon 59
St Francis-PA 75 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 72
UNLV 71 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 74
UCLA 50 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 86
(10) Louisville 70 FINAL
(24) California 57
Howard 53 FINAL
Virginia 74
Miami-Ohio 42 FINAL
(21) Miss State 68
Illinois-Chicago 8:30 PM
Old Dominion
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

<
Gophers Football Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How much do you like the Gophers going to the Citrus Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close