The longer Longhorns freshman punter Michael Dickson is in Austin, the better he is going to be.
That’s precisely the belief of Nathan Chapman, the Director of Prokick Australia, which helped get Dickson recognition as a punter in America.
As stated on its official website, Prokick Australia “was established in 2006 to facilitate in the transition of aspiring kickers and punters to the grand stage of American football, and to help further their education or desire to play professionally in North America.”
Prokick has produced the last two Ray Guy Award winners for the nation’s best punter with Tom Hornsey an Tom Hackett.
Chapman believes Dickson (Sydney, Australia/Kirrawee High) can get to the level eventually with more time. Through two games he has averaged 42.3 yards on 10 punts with three of 50-plus yards, and also landed two inside the 20.
He unleashed a 56-yard punt against Rice on Saturday.
HornsDigest caught up with Chapman to get his thoughts on how Dickson has done so far as a Longhorn.
1. Have you spoken to Michael since he arrived in Austin? If so, how is he feeling about things since we haven’t had a chance to talk with him yet?
“I have spoken to him a few times and he is loving it. He thinks the place is amazing and he loves the university and football. It took him a few weeks to settle in but he was ready to play the first game. What an interesting start to his career, he started off up and down in the first half as he adjusted to the speed of the game but settled really well in the second half and delivered a solid performance. From here on, he will get better by the week. Playing ND was a great introduction to Division I football.”
2. Did he mention to you at all how he was adjusting to life in the USA and how he felt his kicking was coming along?
“As a coach we knew he would adjust within the first month. He had to fit into a new life style, a new country, learn probably 200 new people and perform on the field. He felt every session that his kicks were getting better. Now that he is comfortable with knowing what he has to do, he can go back and work on mechanics so he performs better each week. It will be important for the team that he delivers week in and week out. He is very determined to step it up a notch from here on in.”
3. What’s the biggest adjustment you feel like he has to make to be successful at Texas?
“I think its just learning the speed of the game. Once he feels good with that and learns to read the defense, then he will be able to do so much more with the ball.”
4. How good can he be? Can you describe in detail his abilities as a punter from what you’ve seen from him?
“I think Michael has the ability to lead the country in gross yards and inside 20s. He needs to set his standards high and perform to achieve them. He has all the ability to be a dominant College Footballer.”
5. Anything else you’d like to add?
“To know how dedicated Michael was to training here, after I assessed him to say I believe we can get you to college to punt, he moved over 600 miles to live closer to the training location within 3 weeks. That’s impressive.”
6. Mind if I get a little background on you and how you came about this position?
“I played 8 years in the AFL professionally and then tried my hand at Punting and signed a contract with the Green Bay Packers, I played 3 preseason games and was released in the last cuts.
“I then moved back to Australia and set up Prokick Australia. We have placed over 50 players into America playing football and Michael is the first we have placed in the Big 12.”