Just one day after officially welcoming a quarterback transfer from Iowa, Michigan went down under to announce the addition of graduate transfer punter Blake O'Neill. O'Neill is a native of Melbourne, Australia and comes to the Wolverines after punting for Weber State in 2014.
"We are looking forward to having a player of Blake's level of maturity, background and skill set -- growing up playing Australian rules football -- in our program," Michigan's special teams coordinator John Baxter told MGoBlue.com.
"Australian players have made a big impact on college football in the kicking game, like last year's Ray Guy Award winner, Tom Hackett from Utah. We are looking forward to the impact that Blake will have on our team and within our conference."
At the Football Championship Subdivision level a year ago, O'Neill ranked sixth nationally in punting averaging 44.1 yards per punt in 12 games played. That average was also good enough to earn him the single season record at Weber State.
A former shot putter at the Peninsula School in Australia, O'Neill accounted for 62 punts last season amassing 2,737-yards, including a long of 74-yards. O'Neill also tallied 18 punts of over 50-yards while also successfully downing the ball inside the opponent's 20 yard line 25 times.
In 2014, Michigan's punters combined to average 42.9 yards per punt on 54 attempts, also good for a net punt average of 34.3.
In his one season at Weber State, O'Neill also excelled in the classroom, earning Big Sky Academic All Conference Honors. O'Neill has been accepted to Michigan's School of Kinesiology and will pursue a master's degree in sports management.