Jake Nichols got the invitation of his life this afternoon.
Nichols, an incoming freshman kicker for the McDaniel football team, was invited by Matt Stover to join him for a private tutorial on one of the practice fields at McDaniel College in Westminster. For more than 30 minutes, Stover shared his wisdom with Nichols, an All-State kicker from Thomas Johnson High School in Frederick.
"It was a lot of fun," Nichols said after booting several left-footed kicks. "He's a great coach. He knows what he's doing, obviously. He's been doing this for a ton of years."
Nichols said the most important lesson he gained was Stover's advice to ease up on the throttle during his kicks.
"He said you have to go in softer. You can't go in hard, you can't go in to kill it," Nichols said. "You've got to go in and use your momentum and square your shoulders up to the ball."
Nichols said he planned to call his family and friends to inform them of his time with Stover, a 19-year NFL veteran who enters the season as the second-most accurate kicker in league history.
"He's a real nice guy," Nichols said. "He let me come out here [when] he doesn't even know me. I'm very grateful for that."