Not exactly the news you expect to hear at 6:24 CT on a Tuesday night, but pleasant news nonetheless — Northwestern landed a kicker!
Illinois native Jack Olsen announced on his Twitter account Tuesday night that after spending a year at Michigan State, that he was leaving the Spartans for the Northwestern Wildcats. Olsen was the 4th-overall ranked kicker in the 2020 high school class and the 34th-best prospect in the state of Illinois according to 247 Sports. Olsen was essentially redshirted during his first year in East Lansing, as MSU had senior Matt Coghlin handle their kicking duties (and for what it’s worth, Coghlin went 9-for-12 on field goals and 13-for-13 on extra points in 2020).
Charlie Kuhbander is the returning starter for Northwestern, as the now 5th-year Grad student has been kicking for the ‘Cats since 2017. Last season, Kuhbander converted 9 of his 12 field goal attempts and connected on all 37 of his extra point attempts. Behind him is Trey Finison, and while the junior from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, has only attempted one extra point (which he missed) during his two years in Evanston, and after handling all kickoff duties for Northwestern during his freshman 2019 season, he only saw the field in 2020 during the season opener against Maryland.
Projecting for the 2021-22 season, one would reasonably guess that Kuhbander will serve as the starting kicker one final time for the ‘Cats and that Olsen will take over the next season. With NU first landing Kuhbander — who was the 3rd-overall ranked kicker in the 2017 class — all those years ago, and now getting the talented leg of Olsen, Northwestern seems to have sured up their special teams room for the years to come.