Nortman was born and raised in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Nortman attended Brookfield Central High School in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Nortman was ranked as the No. 4 punter in the nation by Rivals.com and No. 8 by Scout.com. He was rated as the fourth-best player in the state of Wisconsin by Scout.com for the 2008 recruiting class. Following his senior season, Nortman was named first-team all-state as a punter, first-team all Greater Metro Conference as a linebacker as well as Greater Metro Conference co-defensive back of the year. He also played tight end garnering honorable mention Greater Metro Conference honors his senior year.
Nortman ranks third in Wisconsin history with a career punting average of 42.1 yards per punt. He is fourth in UW history with 8,383 career punting yards and fifth with 199 career punts. Following the 2011 season, Nortman was named consensus honorable mention All-Big Ten, Academic All-Big Ten and participated in the 2012 Senior Bowl. Following his junior season in 2010, Nortman was named academic All-Big Ten. After his sophomore season in 2009, Nortman was named honorable mention All-Big Ten (coaches), ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District and Academic All-Big Ten.
Nortman was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the sixth round, with the 207th overall pick, of the 2012 NFL Draft. Nortman set Carolina franchise records for gross punting average and net yards during the 2013 season and was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Month for December 2013. In 2013, Nortman led the NFL in gross yards per punt and air yards per punt in open field punts, averaging 52.6 yards per punt and 51.9 yards per punt, respectively.  He finished 3rd in the NFL with 4.6 seconds of hang time per punt.  Nortman also he set a new record for the Carolina Panthers franchise’s record for average distance per punt in a season.