Not many Australian’s can say they are a First-Team All-American, Freshman All-American, First-Team and Second-Team All-Southeastern Conference selection, SEC Coaches’ All-Freshman Team selection and a Ray Guy Award Semi-finalist.
Bradley T. Wing can.
Tomorrow, the LSU redshirt freshman from Melbourne will line-up in the BSC Bowl Championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Just like a Hollywood sports-move script, Wing watched as one dream door slammed shut as another on the other side of the world, opened … and opened wide.
Not many Australian guys would say that getting cut by their junior football team was the best thing that could’ve happened to them.
Once again, Brad Wing can.
After being cut by the Sandringham Dragons, Wing decided to move to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to complete his high school days on a student exchange program. While there, Wing picked up the pigskin and had a crack at the sport his father David played, also as a punter.
Wing played one season of American football in high school and impressed many including LSU Tigers head coach Les Miles.
Miles, who coached the Tigers to victory in the 2008 BCS National Championship game against Ohio State 38-24 and was formerly at the helm of the Oklahoma State Cowboys, spotted the high ceiling within Wing and ventured on a recruiting drive to claim the young man.
Take a look at these stats and achievements Wing gained in his first year playing the sport and you will realize why Miles wanted him.
Wing averaged 41.8 years per punt (net punting average of 41.5 yards) and a hang-time average of almost five seconds. Compare that to arguably the best punter ever to play the game and the first and only punter ever to be selected in the first round of the NFL draft, Ray Guy.
Guy averaged 42.4 yards per punt with a net of 33.8 from 1049 punts. Guy was selected to seven AFC Pro Bowl teams and was named as the punter on the NFL’s 75th anniversary team. He led the NFL in punting three times and remarkably never had a punt returned for a TD.
Interestingly, Wing would go on and be a semi-finalist in the Ray Guy Award as the best collegiate punter.
The Australian lettered at his high school Parkview Baptist and was ranked number five in the nation by Rivals.com. Wing was a class 3A first-team all-state selection and during a game against Acadiana, he recorded a season-best 73-yard punt from his own end zone … the field of play (high school) is 120 yards.
Wing took his excellent high school form to LSU and played 11 games, missing only the Northwestern State and Mississippi State games due to injury. Wing’s stats prior to his big game tomorrow against the Crimson Tide stand at 50 punts for 2207 yardage with an average of 44.1 ypp (third in the SEC), a long of 73 with only one punt blocked.
To really appreciate how good this young guy is, watch the SEC Championship game against Georgia. Wing punted eight times for a notable 50.4-yard average, two punts inside the 20, a long of 67 and six punts of 50 or more yards.
Wing, who is majoring in Sport Administration, is focused on the big dance however after tomorrow, an NFL contract waits … when that is we will have to wait and see but he is expected to join other Australian’s Colin Ridgeway, Darren Bennett, Mat McBriar, Ben Graham, Sav Rocca and Chris Bryan to make it to the pros.
Brad Wing wears number 38 for LSU.