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Australian-born UT kicker calls Lechler “a legend”

Posted Mar 6, 2018

Six-time All-Pro punter Shane Lechler has a fan from a very unlikely place.

Six-time All-Pro punter Shane Lechler has a fan from a very unlikely place.

Michael Dickson, the University of Texas punter from Australia, looks up to Lechler despite the two hailing from rival schools.

“He’s a legend,” Dickson said at the NFL Combine. “He’s been in the league for, I think, 20 years, had a great season last year. It amazes me that he can do what he does for so long even though he is from a rival school. I still admire him.”

Dickson always dreamed of playing American football, but last week it became one step closer to reality when arrived in Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine. The kicker from Sydney grew up watching other Australian punters in the NFL, the likes of New York Giants’ Brad Wing and Sav Rocca, who punted for the Eagles and Redskins.

A three-year starter for the Longhorns, Dickson is the school’s all-time leader in punting average (45.32).

“I really just treat it like an Aussie rules kick," Dickson said. "I catch the ball, I look up the field like I’m playing my old sport, find a spot that I want to kick it to and just do my thing. It’s just a feeling and connection that I have between my hand and football. It’s a fun kick to do just because it reminds me of the old days.”

In his final game for Texas, Dickson earned MVP honors for his performance in the 2017 Academy Sports and Outdoors Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium. Dickson had a career-tying 11 punts, 10 of which were downed inside the 20-yard line in the Longhorns’ 33-16 win over Missouri.

“I knew going into that game it was going to be my last game,” Dickson said. “I announced that I was leaving early as a junior. I just wanted to do as much as I could to help get us that win to build the momentum for next year even thought I wasn’t going to be there. I ended up getting 11 punts in that game and we still beat Missouri and for me to win the MVP, it was a shock. It’s a funny thing that happened and I’m so amazed by it.”


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