MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – If you’re scrolling through the South Alabama football roster, one player may stick out.
A team that mainly recruits in the Southeast, has a punter from Australia.
“Playing football back home, I just wanted to try something new and experience something else,” said Jaguar punter Jack Brooks.
Arriving in the states for the start of fall camp, there was a bit of culture shock from the native Australian.
“The food has been different, everything with that, and the accents. There’s so much fast food, there’s a lot of variety. You’ll never go hungry here it feels like,” joked Brooks.
There’s an adjustment period for any student transitioning to college, but imagine traveling halfway around the world to attend school. It may seem scary for some, but not for Brooks.
“South Alabama has made it really comfortable for me,” said Brooks. “They helped me settle in quickly. I’m 26 so I’m also a little older than the usual 18-year-olds that come through here.”
And I’m sure you’re wondering, how does a kicker from Australia find his way to Mobile, Alabama.
“I remember when I was really young they used to show the Super Bowl on TV in Australia. So as I grew up playing AFL, just got to be more aware of American football and I learned there was some Aussies coming over to try out punting. I thought I wanted something different to have a crack at,” said Brooks.
Thanks to Prokick Australia, Brooks was trained to excel at the college level. He’s been kicking footballs since he was four years old, but the Austrailian and American games are much different.
“You just have to get the ball off quick and you have to reduce the number of steps,” said Brooks. “The ball is different. The drop punts we do back in Australia are allowed in the game now.”
He’s just a freshman for the Jags, and continues to fine tune his craft. But each time he kicks a football, he’s not only representing South Alabama, he’s also representing his home country.
“We don’t want to let ProKick down, we want to do our best and put on a good performance for everyone,” said Brooks.