Brett “Outback” Thorson, former rival of DGD Stetson Bennett via Twitter faux beef and the Dawg’s starting punter, had the opportunity to speak in front of us yesterday for the first time and proved that he truly is one of the team’s hidden gems. This guy’s got a story and a half, and when he tells it a good bit of the entertainment factor is coming from that Aussie accent of his.
Hailing all the way from halfway across the world, it leaves you wondering just how this guy made it from Melbourne, Australia to Athens, Georgia, and the truth is he can barely tell you either. Being a D-1 Aussie punter means you probably trained with a program called “ProKick” where Australian rules football players are developed into star-studded American football special teamers. But, this development does indeed come at a cost though: once you commit to the ProKick program, you have zero clue where you’re going. Thorson explained it saying:
“When you join the program, you kind of commit to just going to America. You have no idea where you’re going to go. So, I joined the program just hoping to come to America on scholarship.”
He made it sound simple. He trained for 6 to 8 months– COVID put a slight damper on things– and eventually he started to talk to Todd Hartley after Hartley reached out to a ProKick coach. Once Thorson and Hartley were in contact it was only a matter of talking about once a week for one or two months and the acclaimed tight end coach told Thorson, “The spot’s yours,” and the rest is history.
Thorson’s acquisition and addition to the team is another testament to Hartley’s incredible recruiting abilities. He’s clearly talented at finding talent and talent beyond just offensive talent at that with Thorson being a punter and all. That’s not to disregard Thorson’s throwing arm though.
Apparently he regularly tosses the ball 50-55 yards with William Mote before they put the pads on each game. He mentioned that he tries to stay in Kirby’s line of sight when he’s doing warm-up throws to maybe increase the possibility of them running a fake punt with him throwing the ball.
This punter’s world was turned upside down coming from the Down Under to the Deep South, but he’s making the best of every moment. In fact, he’s actually quite excited to try and sit down at Outback Steakhouse to see if it lives up to the Australian standard. But, in the meantime he’s going to be punting footballs. Hopefully not that often though.