A self-proclaimed baseball guy, Kyle Nordby was unsure about pursuing a college football career last spring.
Nine months later, after a Centennial teammate’s assist sparked recruiting interest in the quarterback, Nordby signed his National Letter of Intent on Wednesday in Circle Pines to walk-on at the University of Wyoming.
“I feel relaxed to get the recruiting process done, but at the same time excited to go to Wyoming and work,” Nordby said. “Coach [Craig] Bohl, [offensive coordinator] Brent Vigen, it’s exciting to play for them.”
Nordby’s post-high school plans began to change last spring when Centennial defensive lineman Luke Chuol, who was being recruited by the Wyoming staff, passed along Nordby’s junior film to the Cowboys coaches.
Chuol said he always wanted to play college football with a teammate and believed Nordby was a guy who could play at the Division I level.
“I’d do anything to help another teammate get an opportunity to do something they love,” said Chuol, who was offered a scholarship by Wyoming, but signed with the University of South Dakota on Wednesday. “I thought he was a scholarship level guy.”
The foundation for Nordby’s Division I opportunity began in the summer. That’s when Cougars coach Mike Diggins, who had a previous relationship with Bohl’s staff from North Dakota State, started to discuss his quarterback when Vigen visited Centennial.
“We sat in my office and watched film on Kyle,” Diggins said. “Brent saw he was really raw, but he saw the talent too. I said ‘you’re not going to find a better guy to throw a 15-yard out’.”
Nordby’s senior season wasn’t spectacular – at least statistically. He started the season 23-of-40 for 430 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception through two games, but did not throw for over 150 yards or one touchdown the rest of the season.
A lot of the production drop had to do with the Cougars’ offensive turmoil, which included two coordinators and schemes, but Diggins said Nordby’s attitude never took a negative tone.
“We started in spread and threw the ball around, but when our offensive coordinator left, we went back to what we know: running the ball,” Diggins said. “There were limited chances for him.”
At 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, Nordby has great physical size for a quarterback at any level, but Diggins said his football knowledge that give him a chance to succeed as a walk-on. Nordby was also a team leader and was voted a team captain after his junior season. He said that’s a trait he’ll take with him as he tries to earn a scholarship in Laramie.
“I’ll bring my leadership to Wyoming,” Nordby said. “My drive to perform and make help everyone work as a machine will be a definite plus.”