Weselman couldn't punt on life-changing opportunity at Stanford
Stanford is on a roll landing one of the top specialists in the country. Connor Weselman committed to Stanford July 30, a week after earning a scholarship offer from head coach David Shaw and special teams coordinator Pete Alamar.
As soon as Stanford offered that was essentially the end of the ball game for Weselman. He also reported offers from Virginia, Tulane and UNC Charlotte.
“Academics have always been priority No. 1 when choosing a college," he told Cardinal Sports Report in a phone conversation. "I go to a very competitive high school. Both of my parents are doctors. I study really hard, so the goal was always to go somewhere that was a high academic institution.
"Once Stanford offered me a scholarship I thought, ‘All right, this is a huge opportunity’. It was pretty much the perfect fit and I’m really happy.”
Finding his fit athletically took some time. He grew up in a family of swimmers. His parents, Kelly and Brad, still swim recreationally and his brother, Brad, swims competitively for a club team in college.
Connor swims as well and Westminster has won two state titles during his swimming career. But the number of hours of practice spent staring at the bottom of a pool, often in the very early morning hours, never appealed to him as a long-term option.
He gave golf a go but that didn't go well. When he played soccer he noticed that maybe he was receiving a sign whenever he mishit that round ball.
“I would always kick the ball in soccer over the crossbar so I thought I should start kicking,” he laughed.
His kicking career started his freshman year, but it wasn't until January that the 6-4 Weselman hit his stride.
Weselman is ranked the No. 6 punter in the country by Kohl's Kicking, the go-to source for evaluations of specialists. Stanford has Ryan Sanborn (kicker/punter), Josh Karty (kicker) and Jet Toner (kicker) also on scholarship and they're all recognized as some of the most talented at their positions in the country.
He has been working this year with a private coach from One on One Kicking, former Clemson kicker Dawson Zimmerman.
"I’ve completely developed my form and I’ve gotten so much more consistent. I’ve gotten higher hang times. Last summer I think the best hang time I had was 4.6 (seconds) and this summer I hit a 5.4, or something.”
Last season, Weselman didn't worry too much about fine tuning his technique. Since working with Zimmerman he's improved his extension and getting his hips through to maximize his power. Last year his leg only came up to his waist.
Stanford began recruiting Weselman in March and he has been excited to learn about the benefits of working with a dedicated special teams coach in Alamar.
“He has so much wisdom," Weselman said. "We’ve gone over film of Jake Bailey and compared my film to his. He has really helped me a lot with virtual meetings. He’s helped me fix some little things in my form. I always enjoy talking to him.”
Kicking at Stanford also looks fun to the Atlanta native. He was able to see a beautiful day on the campus during a virtual visit and was envious of Karty when the freshman text Weselman that he was about to practice in 70-degree sunshine.
“We were really impressed with what they showed us," Weselman said of his "visit". "They showed us around on a golf cart and another time they had this whole setup with slides and videos. I could select what I wanted to see, like an information session about academics. We were blown away. We had pages full of notes.”