Rising NFL star, and former Brisbane Lions AFL player, Scott Harding has beat Jarryd Hayne to the punch making a name for himself on the American football scene.
Harding, 28, has been playing in the Hawaiian college football system for the past four seasons and was recently named “the most interesting man in college football” by US sports site Grantland. He’s also been praised as as “one of the most intriguing hybrid/throwbacks in recent memory”.
The code-jumper has grabbed the attention of NFL fans for his snap punt – a kick that was first made popular in the NFL by former AFL player Ben Graham – and his kicking ambidexterity.
It has been reported that Hawaii special teams coordinator Chris Demarest first saw Harding’s potential while he was practicing his kicks from his right and left boot – a skill required by AFL players and also sought-after in the NFL.
Thanks to his broad skill set, Harding’s unpredictability makes him a constant threat to the opposition.
“We have multiple formations and sets, and that causes a lot of stress on opposing teams to be able to defend it”, said Demarest.
Here’s Harding working his magic.
While he isn’t yet a sure thing for next year’s NFL draft, he currently leads all college punters with 3053 gross punting yards (2.7km) this season, along with opponents only managing 30 punt return yards against him.
Jarryd Hayne is the next Aussie to test his skills in the American leading, recently signing a train-and-trial deal with the NFL’s Detroit Lions.
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