The Aussie Roundtable features two of college football’s best punters.
Max Duffy is the punter for the Kentucky Wildcats, and Lou Hedley is the punter for the Miami Hurricanes. Both are statistically in the NCAA Top 10 for gross punting, Hedley averages 47.5 yards (4th), and Duffy is averaging 45.8 yards (9th). Both were named semi-finalists for the 2020 Ray Guy Award, an annual award given to college football’s top punter. Duffy is the reigning Recipient of the Ray Guy Award. The two other finalists in 2019 were Dane Roy (University of Houston Cougars) and Sterling Hofrichter (Syracuse Orange.) (Fun fact: Hofrichter is the current punter for the Atlanta Falcons averaging 41.6 yards through 8 games of the 2020 NFL Season, and holding peaches for Younghoe Koo, who is dominating his first season with the Falcons.) Back to Duffy, he is a former pro in the Australian Rules Football league.
Hedley is averaging 47.5 yards per punt this season which is nearly an 8% increase in distance over his first season with the Hurricanes. He is also the holder for Jose Borregales who was recently named Lou Groza Semifinalist, which is awarded to college football’s best place kicker. (The only other placekicker-punter duo to be named the same awards is Jake Camarda and Jack Podlesny of the University of Georgia.) Lou made his way to Coral Gables by way of the City College of San Francisco where he played JUCO.
Let’s talk more about awards. Hedley has been named ACC Special Teams Player of the Week twice this season. Punting in a conference where Pressley Harvin III (Georgia Tech) is having a breakout season averaging 47.65 yards per punt, Hedley has received the award after standing out in victories over Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh, games in which he averaged over 50 yard per punt. Duffy was named SEC Special Teams Player of the week for his performance vs. Mississippi State after having a game where he averaged nearly 45 years per punt. Digging deeper, he fired a moon rocket 75 yards on a free kicker after a safety which was really impressive pinning Mike Leach’s offense on their own 16. Both have aspirations to play in the NFL, and this roundtable episode covers topics of growth in college.
Hedley shares how he has matured, becoming more familiar with the game which have allowed him to increase his gross yardage nearly 8% year over year. Duffey who is studying for his masters in Psychology shares insight on his mental game. The two punters are also good friends who help one another. Their friendship spans back to Prokick Australia where Nathan Chapman develops punters who play college football in America.
Duffy drew insight from listening to the Podcast with Thomas Morstead, who is the punter for the New Orleans saints.
You can find that episode here:
The network of kickers and punters is small, and Duffy shares how he and Keith Duncan are friends. Duncan is the kicker for the Iowa Hawkeyes who was named a 2019 Lou Groza Finalist. He stopped by the Special Teams Lounge with Jake Pinegar, who is the kicker for the Penn State Nittany Lions.
You can hear that episode here:
Also, the conversation brought up fellow Aussie Punters: Brad Wing, LSU, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Jamie Keehn, LSU.
And finally, if you would like to nerd out more on punting you can hear the podcast with his Jack Fox, who is leading the NFL in Gross Distance and Net Average through 11 Weeks of the 2020 season as a Rookie for the Detroit Lions.
Please follow Lou Hedley:
Please follow Max Duffy