Michael Dickson is yet to unveil his full range of kicks.
Michael Dickson is yet to unveil his full range of kicks.

Booming Aussie boot set to kick off NFL career

MICHAEL Dickson's road to the NFL started in a leafy park on Sydney's north shore.

Three years ago Dickson took a punt, literally, that change his life forever.

There were up to a dozen fellow hopefuls at that park working under the eye of Prokick Australia's Nathan Chapman.

"It was a rugby union field with a dried up pitch," Dickson told News Corp Australia.

"It was a random park in the middle of nowhere. No one was really around."

On Monday the Sutherland Shire-raised product will make his NFL debut in front of 76,000 fans for Seattle against Denver.

Not bad for someone who even now "doesn't watch the game too much''.

His booming boot was developed through his stint with the AFL, with his talent earning him a place in the Sydney Swans' talent academy as a teenager.

Dickson put together a video package of his punting prowess, which caught the eye of Texas Longhorns.

The 22-year-old starred for the University of Texas, winning the MVP of the Texas Bowl - a rare feat for a punter. He also won the Ray Guy Award for top college punter and was an all-American.


Michael Dickson is making big strides in a short time.
Michael Dickson is making big strides in a short time.

Dickson skipped his final year of college in favour of heading to the NFL draft.

The Seahawks grabbed him with their fifth-round draft pick, which is not bad for a bloke whose knowledge of American football was limited at best.

"The first full game of American football I watched was the one I played in," Dickson said.

"The first NFL game that I fully watched though was the Super Bowl in 2016. I'd already been playing for a year at that point. It wasn't anything that I was super into. I was just into any sport I can play.

"Punting was just one of those things I connected with. Learning the game has been enjoyable. It's a whole new code, whole new tactics.

"There are so many rules in this sport. So many little rules that mean certain things such as different play clocks. I'm still learning it all. I don't know any routes or defensive schemes. I just punt it right or punt it left.


Michael Dickson with his fellow Swans Academy players.
Michael Dickson with his fellow Swans Academy players.

"I'm not too versed in anything. It's just so complex."

While Dickson has not mastered the intricacies of his new code, he has grasped the art of kicking. Dickson has been the talk of the pre-season and has been earmarked as a potential offensive rookie of the year after inking a four-year, $3.4 million contract.

The Seahawks are so confident in his ability they released long-term punter and Super Bowl winner Jon Ryan.

Not that Dickson has got his head around his talent.

"I haven't hit any balls that have been too special," Dickson said.

"Everyone has been overhyping it a bit. I have a couple of different kicks I haven't even pulled out yet.

"Most Aussie AFL players can do it but it isn't seen as much in the NFL. The 'torpie' as we call it - I haven't used it every time because it wouldn't be as effective.

"People tell me my spiral comes off different and curves differently."

The Kirrawee High product will have his mum Lily in the crowd on Monday.

Dickson is one of four Australian punters in the NFL, joining Jordan Berry (Pittsburgh), Lachlan Edwards (Jets) and Cam Johnston (Eagles).

He said he would be "pretty calm" when he waits to be called into action.

"I don't even watch the game too much," Dickson said.

"I'm in my own little world kicking the ball in a net and riding a bike."

Dickson's Seattle take on Denver, who have Australian defensive tackle Adam Gotsis in their squad.


Get ready for cricket like never before. FREE Sport HD + Entertainment until the first 4K cricket ball as part of 3 months free on a 12 month plan. SIGN UP TODAY. T&Cs apply.