HomeSPORTSThe Saints’ 30-year-old Aussie rookie punter is about to grow to be...

The Saints’ 30-year-old Aussie rookie punter is about to grow to be your favourite athlete

Punters with persona all the time develop a cult following — hell, take a look at Pat McAfee. There’s one thing inherently humorous about punting with swagger, and it causes these gamers to get elevated to people heroes. Lou Hedley, the Saints 30-year-old punter from Australia, took his craft from the deserts of Western Australia, to a tattoo store in Indonesia, a cease in Miami, and now to the NFL.

Yeah, persons are going to fall in love with this man.

New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Chargers

Picture by John McCoy/Getty Photos

Hedley was named to the Saints 53 on Tuesday, cementing his place on an NFL roster. Undrafted in 2023, Hedley determined to signal with New Orleans and attempt to earn a roster spot, fairly than head to the CFL the place he was drafted. He beat out starter Blake Gillikin with a preseason stuffed with booming punts and astounding directional punting. It’s a hell of a change in fortunes for a dude who erecting scaffolding within the desert not that way back.

Aussie Guidelines roots

Hedley’s kicking chops come from Australian Guidelines Soccer (AFL), like many Aussie punters earlier than him. The game has grow to be a breeding floor for school punters, with 53 of 130 FBS groups boasting a punter from Down Below in 2021.

Hedley initially had aspirations of taking part in the game at dwelling, however realized in highschool that he didn’t have the chops to make it as a professional. It’s a sport that requires velocity, athleticism, and astounding conditioning on high of with the ability to kick — and he lacked a few of the qualities wanted to interrupt by way of.

Scaffold life

At a crossroads, Hedley dropped out of highschool and determined to begin incomes cash. He defined in a 2019 profile by Bleacher Report that he spent seven years working as a laborer who erected scaffolding at mines, energy vegetation — wherever that wanted scaffolding, actually.

“I just about lived in a harness manner off the bottom for seven years of my life,” Hedley says. “It was all good enjoyable, and it allowed me to remain match whereas I labored. Plus, it was nice cash and I didn’t have time to spend any of it.”

With job paying for his lodging, a stipend dealing with his meals, and cash amassing in his checking account, Hedley carved out a pleasant life for a younger child. It was additionally throughout this time that he found his love for tattoos.

Seaside sure

The coastal province of Bali, Indonesia has lengthy been a vacationer hotspot for Australian vacationers. The truth is, it’s powerful to discover a younger grownup who hasn’t been to Bali to occasion, not less than as soon as.

It’s right here that Hedley determined to make his new dwelling. Together with his assortment of physique artwork rising, he took his scaffold cash and have become a co-owner of Rosemarrie Tattoo. This allowed him to remain in Bali, surf, and proceed to get extra tattoos. Hedley by no means considered it as a moneymaking enterprise, however fairly a chance to maintain him within the life he grew to like.

Punting on all of it

The lingering dream of taking part in skilled sports activities by no means left Hedley. It was the one itch he couldn’t scratch, and regardless of having a pleasant life in Bali, he determined to make one final run at a sporting profession.

Hedley enrolled in ProKick, the pipeline that scouts Australian kickers and will get them positioned in school packages. He instantly turned heads, and it wasn’t lengthy earlier than Hedley enrolled within the Metropolis Faculty of San Francisco in 2017, a JUCO, however it will be a short cease earlier than taking a a lot larger bounce.

Hedley had eye-popping punting tape, and it wasn’t lengthy earlier than Energy 5 faculties had been calling. Lastly he settled on Miami, the place the 25-year-old started his journey. It was a breakout school profession, the place Hedley averaged 45.2 yards per punt, persistently booming the ball downfield with placement and energy.

Now he’s within the NFL

It’s been an unimaginable journey for the 30-year-old dad. Oh, I forgot to say that? Yeah, he has a 5-year-old son named Loki, which helped spark his entire journey again to skilled sports activities.

In a really reductive manner you possibly can say that Lou Hedley is: A 30-year-old punting tattooed dad who labored as a laborer earlier than changing into a browsing tattoo store proprietor. None of that is inaccurate. Now he’s within the NFL. New Orleans will fall in love, then the remainder of the nation will observe.

The legend of Lou Hedley is simply simply starting.



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