Aussie punter accepts Georgia scholarship offer

During the Bulldogs’ practice session in Athens, Ga., on Thursday, March 18, 2021. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

Credit: Tony Walsh

Credit: Tony Walsh

During the Bulldogs’ practice session in Athens, Ga., on Thursday, March 18, 2021. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

ATHENS — Georgia football has now joined the growing trend of having an Aussie punter.

Brett Thorson, a punter from Melbourne, Australia, announced Wednesday on his Twitter feed that he has accepted a full scholarship offer from the Bulldogs in their 2022 recruiting class. He’s expected to succeed senior Jake Camarda, an All-American who will graduate after this season. Thorson becomes the first specialists and 12th member overall of the 2022 class.

Not that much is known about Thorson other than he trains under John A. Smith and Nathan Chapman at Pro Kick Australia in Melbourne. Also, he was recruited to UGA by tights end coach Todd Hartley and special teams coordinator Scott Cochran, whom he thanks in his announcement.

“Thank you for this life-changing opportunity and I look forward to what’s to come,” Thorson wrote. “... I can’t wait to get to Athens, join the family, get to work and play in front of the best fans in the nation.”

Australian punters have been making their way to the U.S. in growing numbers the last decade or so. Six are currently on NFL rosters in varying capacities. Georgia fans are likely familiar with Brad Wing, an Australian citizen who starred for LSU in 2013 and played in the NFL for a number of years. The Atlanta Falcons employed Blake Muir, who had played at Baylor, in 2016. Mitch Wishnowsky, an Australian punter who played college football at Utah, was selected in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. Five punters out of Pro Kick Australia were among the Ray Guy Award semifinalists last season, including Nik Constantinou of Texas A&M.

Australian Rules Football is that country’s most popular sport and their very physical game requires every one to kick the ball.

Thorson is not rated but is listed as 6-foot-2, 205 pound on 247Sports.com’s recruiting site. Of choosing Georgia over several other programs, Thorson told 247, “I have done a fair bit of research on the program the last few weeks and gained as much knowledge off of coach Hartley as I can. But I feel I truly won’t understand the magnitude and significance of the program until I arrive in Athens.”

Thorson said he’ll early enroll in January 2022.

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