The evidence is indisputable. Australian punters are a thing.
There are currently five punters on NFL rosters, led by Seahawks superstar (can a punter be a superstar?) Michael Dickson. That has led colleges to at least more widely consider importing a punter from down under, with Texas’ Ryan Bujcevski — Dickson’s cousin — now starting for the Longhorns. In need of a new punter of their own, Colorado decided to come calling on Thursday, officially landing a commitment from an Australian punter named Josh Watts.
Watts could be the next big thing. Or he could be nothing. It’s almost impossible to know because, frankly, it’s difficult to find a lot of information about him.
Watts was signed out of ProKick Australia Academy, a kicking training camp run in Australia to identify talent with the potential to transition to American football. He was previously an AFL (Aussie Rules) player who was at least briefly a member of the Brisbane Lions. He hails from the Australian town of Glenorchy.
And, as you might expect for a player who already matriculated to the professional level of another sport, he’s not a spring chicken (at least by collegiate sports standards). Per his Brisbane Lions bio page, Watts recently turned 23 … which would mean he could be 28 and 10 years older than incoming freshmen by the time he completes a four-year Colorado career that also includes a redshirt season.
Of course, none of those factors are particularly salient if it turns out Watts can really kick the ball. Apparently he can or Colorado would turn its attention to one of the numerous talented punters in its own mountainous backyard. Now we all get to wait until 2020 to see if Watts’ kicks at Folsom Field carry all the way out of the stadium.