Australia has been a good source of punting prospects for American football, but rarely have they looked this Australian. Meet Louis Hedley, the new punter signed by the Miami Hurricanes. Yes, this guy is playing college ball:
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Born in Mandurah, Australia, Hedley comes with quite the backstory: According to the Miami Herald, the 24-year-old was struggling to make it in Aussie rules football in between stints building scaffolding in the Australian desert:
His chances at making a living playing Australian rules football were fading, so Hedley found employment in construction, working as a scaffolder across his home country. He would spend a week home in Mandurah, then fly out somewhere in the desert to spend a month working.
While Hedley wasn’t well-rounded enough to make a living off of Aussie rules—his position, full back, is somewhat like a free safety role that also can punt the ball; just go with it—his leg did catch the eyes of onlookers. Eventually, Hedley linked up with a program that helps convert Aussie-style players into American football punters. That led to a season at juco City College of San Francisco.
Here he is, straight up blasting some punts:
Despite moving across the Pacific to play football, Hedley was still quite fresh to the style of the game. A video game helped him out:
The first time Hedley ever watched a football game it was from the sidelines in California. City College lost a close game to Oakland’s Laney College last September and Hedley punted six times. Hedley only knew when he was supposed to punt because he bought a Madden NFL video game ahead of time to study when the punters are supposed to take the field.
While the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Hedley may look like a hardcore singer that will, at any point in time, scream “OPEN UP THE PIT!!” he should help the Hurricanes with one of their recent problems: the team has been in the bottom 12 for punting average for the last two seasons.