Brody Dickman was well into his football career at Eldorado High School before the thought truly crystallized: he found a niche that might serve him well.
“These past two years, I realized I could play at the college level,” Dickman said.
And while he is a cornerback, safety and receiver for the Eagles, it’s his work as Eldorado’s placekicker that could become his path to the next level.
“It would be my wish to kick at a Division I school,” said the 6-foot-3, 170-pound Dickman, a senior. “That would be pretty amazing for me.”
Based on a variety of metrics, prokicker.com currently rates Dickman as a five-star recruit and the eighth-best kicking prospect in the country in the Class of 2021.
The website rates kickers on average kickoff distance, average kickoff hang time and field-goal accuracy. Dickman scored 90 percent on field goals. The site, which utilizes Hall of Famer punter Ray Guy’s name for camps, also rates punters and long snappers.
“As a kicker, I needed some improvements on my kickoffs,” Dickman said of his goal this offseason. “Our coach would like them to be 60 yards (high school kicks off from the 40), and they weren’t consistently 60 yards. That’s been a major improvement. I’m about 65 yards now and into the end zone.”
Dickman recorded 31 touchbacks on 57 kickoffs last year.
Dickman, who said he is comfortable kicking field goals from 50 yards out, attended a Ray Guy camp for top prospects in Tennessee in June. And he worked out for a Ray Guy representative last week in Albuquerque.
And now, Dickman has to find a way to spread the word to colleges.
“He excels from the physical standpoint,” said Shaun Gehres, the head football coach at Albuquerque Academy and a former college punter who has been working with Dickman regularly for the last several years. “He’s a really strong kid, and he’s pretty explosive. … He generates a lot of power.”
One of Dickman’s predecessors at Eldorado, Andrew Shelley, is the placekicker at the University of New Mexico. Two former Lobos, Miami kicker Jason Sanders and Buffalo punter Corey Bojorquez, are special teams standouts in the NFL. But even for elite prep kickers, often a college will extend an invite only as a walk-on.
With an abundance of time and perfect weather on his hands this summer and fall, Dickman is training to become a college kicker.
The technical aspects, Gehres said, have become a focal point over the last 18 months. And, Gehres said, he is making tangible progress.
“Brody, when you hear him kick the ball, it grabs your attention,” Gehres said. “Sometimes when I’m working with him, I’ll close my eyes and I can tell if he hit it good or not. He still has room to grow, but he’s in a real good spot.”
Dickman has been Eldorado’s kicker since his freshman season, and he may also punt in 2021.
“Over the last couple of years, he’s appreciating (kicking) like an art, a skill he wants to get good at,” said Gehres. “He’s pretty diligent.”