Prokick Australia offers gambler ready for the big ten

Jack Ansell of Purdue University, Mark Crawford of Minnesota, Jesse Mirko of Ohio, Hugh Robertson of Illinois, and Tori Taylor of Iowa are all from Australia.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Big Ten will soon extend to the West Coast with UCLA and USC, after completing a seismic expansion this summer.

On the fourth landing, the footprint extends much wider than that.

Half of the league’s 14 programs this season have a core gambler produced by Prokick Australia, the development academy from Down Under that supplies a major college football team with game-ready special teams. great rate.

For Purdue (Jack Ansel), Minnesota (Mark Crawford), Indiana (James Evans), Rutgers (Adam Korsak), Ohio State (Jesse Mirko), Illinois (Hugh Robertson) and Iowa (Tori Taylor), accent drip comes thick and, Well, a few worries, my friend.

Evans from New Zealand. Others are Australian, as is Corsack’s understudy student, Flynn Appleby. Scarlet Knights player Judd McAtamney is another former Brooke School pupil from Ireland.

“We all know each other and give each other a lip now and then,” said Crawford, a third-year native from Perth with the Gopher family.

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Australians have enjoyed previous and later contacts in a place where parental visitation is rare and adapting to the climate, dialect and culture of the Big Ten country is important.

“Even now the words they say, they get confusing at times,” said Evans, a sophomore who inherited the Hoosiers job from Brokick alum Haydon Whitehead. “When I’d go to order coffee, I’d say my name was James, and they’d probably say four or five times, ‘Jess?'” ‘ I said no, ‘It’s James, like one of the most common names.’

Taylor was one of Crawford’s closest friends at Prokick, who dropped seven of his 10 shots Saturday inside the 20-yard line for an overall average of 47.9 yards per attempt in the 7-3 win over South Dakota State. It was an easy pick for the Big Ten Special Teams of the Week player.

Taylor said, 3rd year Melbourne citizen.

Korsak was the first team Pre-Season Associated Press All-America Team Choose who set the NCAA record for average net worth in 2021 and became the gold standard for his peers. The Melbourne native put Australian cricket, golf and football pitches in the lead to score for Prokick.

“I like Rutgers very much,” said Korsak, who transferred to two master’s programs after earning his undergraduate degree. “Per minute.”

Nathan Chapman founded Prokick with John Smith in 2007, with the goal of applying first-hand knowledge from NFL experiences to coach Australia’s ample supply of big prospects. The operation has thrived over the past 15 years, and now with five satellite locations outside the headquarters in Melbourne. Relationships with FBS coaching staff abound.

“If there was some longevity or an influx of Australians out there to kick, then they needed to be taught and helped along the way so they wouldn’t make silly mistakes shortening their attempt,” said Chapman, who signed with Green Bay in the 2004 season before being snapped at the end of the season. Boot Camp, “I put my name on a business card and went to work.”

Prokick alumni captured six of the last nine Ray Jay Award The winners, awarded annually to the best college football player. Last season, more than 40% of gamblers on FBS were Prokick alumni. James Burneb (Alabama) even gave the show a spot in the National Championship match.

The program has been awarded full scholarships to 190 players and the number is increasing, and boasts a better than 90% employment rate for entrants whose skills, character and academics are deemed worthy of admission. Baseline in the initial evaluation is 45 yards, 4½ seconds. Workout sessions are usually three times a week, with strengthening and conditioning sessions on the side.

The time in the program varies by participant. When the college team contacts Prokick in search of a gambler for the next employment category, the process can speed up quickly.

The first NFL game Crawford ever watched was the Super Bowl, less than seven years before he boarded a plane on a 30-hour flight to Minnesota. He arrived about two months before COVID-19 stopped spring practice and forced him to train in a park across the street.

Earlier this year, he was able to fly home to visit his parents for the first time in two and a half years – and demonstrate some of the life skills gained from the discipline and structure inherent in college football.

“I was making my bed. I was making sure everything was clean and my mom was like, ‘What’s going on with you?’ Crawford said.

Australian base kicks are done while running and usually travel to the end, so there’s a lot to teach about American style – and the environment.

“Some appreciate and understand the high pressure situation they are in, and some take time. They think it’s just kicking a soccer ball. They might see the crowds on TV and think this is fun, but they don’t associate the time, pressure and effort it will take,” Chapman said last month in a video interview. from Melbourne.

These punters used to be more involved with Australian rules: think quarterback, running back and tight end in one. Except for Taylor’s busy last afternoon, work here can be much slower. Crawford jumped only once in Minnesota’s 38-0 win over New Mexico State.

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Chapman and his crew keep an eye on as many of their former students as possible at work. With Melbourne 15 hours ahead of Minneapolis, that means a Sunday session in front of the TV can last from 2am to 2pm

“It’s a long day of rummaging through soccer games for the balls to come out,” Chapman said, laughing heartily.

These Australians are often “older men,” said 28-year-old Crawford. Tom Hutton from Oklahoma is 32 years old. And that’s not quite the sheikh that the NFL would dream about, of course, with Seattle’s Michael Dixon, Houston’s Cameron Johnston, Philadelphia’s Arn Sebus, and San Francisco’s Mitch Wisnowski currently giving Brockik a presence in the league. Usually the worst case scenario is to get a college degree at a reputable institution.

“We pick the right player, and we know they’ll be able to compete and handle the pressure in that environment,” Chapman said. “That’s the big football out there at the Big Ten, so they need to know their stuff.”

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