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Texas P commit Isaac Pearson talks Texas, life in the coal mines, and more

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From working in a coal mine at 17 to discovering American football from Madden video games, the Aussie’s journey to Austin is anything but ordinary.

Prokick Australia Training Session Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images

Texas Longhorns head coach Tom Herman notched the commitment of Australian punter Isaac Pearson at the end of May and the future Longhorn jumped on the Texas Football Talk show to discuss the Horns, barbecue, and how Madden got him into the American sport.

“I didn’t know much about the sport at all,” Pearson told hosts Clint and Jeremy Lochabay. “We still get the Madden games here and I didn’t know there was a college pathway.”

Pearson was playing as the Pittsburgh Steelers and was told that the Steelers punter, Jordan Berry, was from Australia.

“I got on Wikipedia and saw he trained at Prokick Australia and then got the ball rolling from there and got in touch with Prokick and the rest is history,” Pearson said.

From Newcastle, New South Wales, Pearson was originally working in a coal mine as a mechanic apprentice before receiving the invitation from Prokick.

“I started working the underground at 17 and I was there for four years,” Pearson said.

Pearson had to fully complete his apprenticeship before joining the training academy full time. While he has played Australian Rules Football since a kid, he didn’t join the Prokick program until 19, but has spent the last two years training.

The punter had to familiarize himself with American universities but quickly latched onto the burnt orange of Texas.

“I thought there was nothing more American than playing football for the University of Texas,” Pearson. But even with his 6’2 frame, Pearson slowly had to learn the game and trust in the process while receiving little attention.

In fact, Pearson entered the 2020 season without a college offer. Slowly, Pearson began to grow into his build until his talent was enough to eventually push him over the edge and into the line of sight of colleges. By March, Pearson had spoken with special teams coordinator Jay Boulware and received an offer to play at Texas.

“I didn’t ever think I’d be good enough to get [to Austin],” Pearson said. “My hard work got me here and it just so happened my dream school offered me. I’m incredibly lucky.”

Pearson follows Michael Dickson and Ryan Bujcevski as the latest Australian punter to head to the Forty Acres. The NFL All-Pro Dickson is currently with the Seattle Seahawks while Bujcevksi enters the 2020 season as a junior after missing the final four games of the regular season with a shoulder injury.

“They’re the ones who paved the way for me to go to Texas,” Pearson said when asked about Dickson and Bujcevski. “I’m indebted to those guys.”

What was once a rather underground recruiting pipeline in Australia has now turned into a hot spot. Out of the 11 punters in the 247sports 2021 class rankings, six of them train at ProKick Australia. Go back 10- years to the 2011 class and there were zero punters from Australia in the 247Sports rankings. In fact, the punters from down under didn’t reach the national spotlight until the 2013 class and have not looked back since.

Pearson is the highest-ranked punter from Australia in the 2021 class and is third overall at the position nationally. Assuming Bujcevski plays all four years at Texas, Pearson will be able to redshirt his first year in Austin.