Although kickers might not be the hottest commodity in the 2017 NFL Draft which commences Thursday in Philadelphia, Denmark’s Simon Mathiesen may well surprise.
The 23 year old, 6’4″, 210 pound kicker from Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, Missouri, has scored more points than any kicker in college football over the past two season (151 points in 2015, 140 points last season). In fact, he has a reputation for putting 50 yarders through the uprights with either foot and he gets more accurate as the game gets bigger and the weather gets colder.
Kicking for the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats, a Division II football powerhouse with six NCAA national championships, including 2013, 2015 and the 2016 titles, Mathiesen has made his mark and was a big part of the team’s last three championships.
Born in New York to Danish parents, Mathiesen returned to Denmark with his family at the age of four giving him dual Danish/American citizenship. He grew up in Denmark playing soccer but was introduced to football when he was 15 years old and started playing for the Søllerød Gold Diggers, one of Denmark’s top clubs.
Originally a receiver, he sent his highlights to 80 or so American colleges and one coach for the Bearcats responded. Mathiesen made the team as a walk-on receiver.
As he told Thom Loverro of the Washington Times, his position to kicker change was sudden:
“My freshman year I was a receiver, and about halfway through the season we needed a kicker,” he said. “The coach came up to be before one of our most important games of the year and said, ‘You’re our starting kicker today.’”
The rest, as they say, is history. By the end of his career at Northwest Missouri, Mathiesen had wound up with every kicking record in school history.
Mathiesen’s kicking exploits even made him a YouTube sensation of sorts with videos of him hitting field goals from as far as 75 yards out.
He has definitely gained the attention of another Danish kicker, former NFL star, all time leading scorer and 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Morten Andersen who has become a mentor and has been helping him prepare for pro workouts.
As to whether an NFL team will take a chance on a kicker in the NFL Draft, that is uncertain. On thing that is certain is that he has earned NFL interest. According to his agent, Scott Bergman, eight teams have shown interest and at least two have him on their draft boards.
This will be a long weekend for Mathiesen.
Source: The Washington Times