One day, Tom Hackett will leave. Ute fans will cry, and Kyle Whittingham might do so as well, but his departure after the 2015 season is inevitable. Utah took a step towards a replacement in landing 2016 punter Mitch Wishnowsky out of Santa Barbara City College in California, who hails from the same American football academy as Hackett.
"Tom and I come from the sam American football academy in Australia. Our coach was Nathan Chapman and he spoke highly of his dealing with Utah. They have the number 1 special teams in the country."
Wishnowsky's relationship with Hackett really helped seal the deal for the Utes.
"He would come back to train at the academy when I was getting started. I speak to Tom once in awhile. He asks me how I'm doing and I ask him the same. He's told me all about Utah. I haven't had a chance to visit yet, but we're setting up something for next year."
The 6-4, 220 pounder has an athletic background, and runs a 4.5 40, but it was his leg that drew attention.
"I played soccer from 6 to 16 and then moved on to Australian Rules Football. I was a bit hindered by injuries and had a should reconstruction. My position was as a fullback so I was the guy at the back did a lot of the long kicks. I was at the park one day with the my friends and a guy saw me there and put me in touch with Nate Chapman at the academy. I learned how to kick and can do the regular kicks and the roll-out kicks as well. My punting average is in the high 30s right now."
It took a bit of convincing for Wishnowsky's family to get on board with the , especially his mother.
"When I first wanted to start out, my family wasn't really on board with the training and coming to America. My mum was really concerned with me going. It was a massive opportunity and eventually they got behind me once they talked to my coach."
Wishnowsky is working to graduate with his AA early so he can be on campus as soon as possible.
"Hopefully I'll be able to graduate next December and be on campus in the spring, but if not, I'll be there in the summer (of 2016). All of my studies are on track right now."
Utes Land 2016 Punter
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