A 6-foot-5, 240-pound Australian kicker, Dean Crozier verbally committed to Rutgers yesterday where he will come in as a scholarship punter. Crozier is 24 years old, but has no experience with American football.
"He's a big-time talent," Sailer said. "He's a kid that's kind of fallen in the footsteps of a lot of the Australian punters that have wanted to play college ball and play NFL ball. There is a lot of talent out there of people that have played Australian rules football and want to come to play college football."
Though totally unfamiliar with American football, Crozier saw the role of the punter while on his official visit to Rutgers two weeks ago. His athleticism and history in sports makes up for a lack of knowledge at the position, Sailer said.
"The biggest adjustment is going to be the get-off time," he said. "That's one thing he has no experience doing. It's completely foreign to him. The first time he'll ever see it is when he starts practicing with Rutgers. He'll have to make those adjustments. You never can understand that speed until you're actually in the situation. That takes time. It takes time to develop that rhythm.
"Great athletes can make those adjustments. He's not a guy that's going to come in nervous, shy. He's a guy that's going to come in with confidence because he has played sports at that level. I don't think it's going to be an issue for him. He'll go through some ups and some downs, I believe, but ultimately they got a punter with NFL ability."
From a physical standpoint, Crozier may bring more to the table than any full-time specialist in recent Rutgers history. Experienced in Australian rules football, Crozier can do much more than catch a ball and then kick it.
"He's big, he's strong and he's got tons of potential," Sailer said. "They're getting a guy that has NFL potential right away and can be really special for them. He's 6-foot-5, 240 and that's not overstating it. He's a big man. His size as a punter and experience with Australian football, he's a great athlete. It's an advantage as a punter with, if anything breaks down, he has that experience to do something with the football."