Australians are taking college American football by storm, with 10 of the top 15 punters currently in the college system coming from down under.
The stats were announced on Instagram by Prokick Australia, an organisation based in Melbourne dedicated to converting Australian athletes to American Football punters.
A punter’s job generally is kick the football as far down the field as possible, to force the opposing team to start the next play far away from the end zone.
Cincinnati’s Mason Fletcher, son of Essendon great Dustin Fletcher, topped the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) rankings for 2022, making him statistically the best punter in college football.
Adam Korsak, another Australian who plays for Rutgers University, came third on the list, meaning both he and Fletcher are shortlisted for the Ray Guy Award, given to college football’s best punter.
Both players – along with the majority of the Australians in the rankings – started out with aspirations to play Australian rules football, but thanks to Prokick Australia, they have jetted off to the States to try their hand at a new career.
Australia’s current crop of college punters are not the first to make the switch to American football. There are currently eight Australian players playing in the NFL, four of whom are punters who came through the Prokick Australia academy.
This includes Seattle Seahawks punter Michael Dickson, one of – if not the – best punter in the league.
He recently signed a 4-year $14,700,000 (AU $21,295,228) contract with the team, meaning his yearly salary more than double the top earners in the AFL.
With the myriad of Australian talent only growing in America, it is clear that playing Aussie rules provides an excellent base for punting in gridiron football.
The financial benefits to making it pro in the NFL also seriously outweigh those of playing professional footy.
For young Aussie rules talents that are considering a change of sport, American football may well be the way to go.