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University of Memphis[/caption]
Aussies in the NCAA is a new series that will introduce you to some of our Aussie boys playing college football in the States.
We begin with the University of Memphis' Tom Hornsey.
Tom Hornsey - Punter - University of Memphis
A senior in 2013, Hornsey has been the punter for the University of Memphis for the last three years. During which he has averaged 42.6 yards per punt and 24 punts inside the 20-yard line per season. His longest punt was in 2011 for an impressive 66 yards.
Hornsey was trained by Prokick Australia between 2009 and 2010 and was a talented Aussie Rules footballer before making the decision to move to the States.
While training Hornsey reportedly gained the attention of the University of Memphis, University of Alabama and Northern Illinois University. After an official visit to the University of Memphis he committed to begin in 2010.
He has performed consistently well during his three years in Memphis. A starter as a freshman in 2010 he punted 80 times for a 42.7 per punt average and placed the ball inside the 20-yard line 24 times. As a sophomore he punted an astounding 95 times for a 42 yard per punt average, placing the ball inside the 20-yard line 23 times. Finally as a junior in 2012 he was responsible for 60 punts for 43.4 yards per punt and 25 balls inside the 20
It was this consistency that earned him the cover on the program's spring football guide. A unique honor for a punter. One that earned him praise
and his college equal criticism
You might scoff, but it's easy to see Hornsey was the most important player on that team last year. His consistent punts helped the Tigers stay in games their offence otherwise couldn't compete in. A punt pinning Rice on their own four-yard line in Week 5 helped the team end an eight-game losing streak, a game within which he pinned his opponent within their 20-yard line five times on eight punts.
That's no small contribution.
He's a two-time Ray Guy Award nominee (the highest award for punters), named a Freshman All-American and was rated the 19th best punter in college football in 2012.
Hornsey has already cemented his place in University of Memphis lore. He's their all-time leader in punts and punt yardage. And he looks set for a strong senior campaign with an eye on the NFL Draft in 2014.
We'll be playing close attention to Hornsey when the season begins in September.