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How an Australian NFL rookie, 22, was thrust into stardom

AFL draft reject Michael ‘Down Under Destroyer’ Dickson has beaten astronomical  odds to become one of the most hyped NFL stars in the world.

The 22-year-old Sydney native first impressed US selectors as a 19-year-old when footage of him ‘drop kicking’ an American ball surfaced during a Prokick coaching program. 

The athlete, who had been earmarked for greatness in the AFL, had given up his spot at an elite academy with the Sydney Swans to try his hand at the American sport.

He was soon scouted by the Texas Longhorns and scored an incredibly rare four-year-long scholarship to study while playing in the United States. 

 

One-time AFL draft reject Michael ‘Down Under Destroyer’ Dickson (pictured) has beaten wild odds to become one of the most hyped American Football stars out of Australia

The 22-year-old Sydney native first impressed US selectors as a 19-year-old via footage of him 'drop kicking' an American ball during a  coaching program (pictured punting in September )

The 22-year-old Sydney native first impressed US selectors as a 19-year-old via footage of him ‘drop kicking’ an American ball during a coaching program (pictured punting in September )

Dickson hasn’t taken his opportunity for granted and has continued wowing coaches and fans of the game, his right leg aptly earning him the title Down Under Destroyer.

He delivered a showstopper performance on the last Sunday of October, kicking what was immediately hailed a ‘perfect punt’ and cementing his ‘legendary’ reputation.

A punt is what Australians refer to as a drop kick, and it was Dickson’s effortlessly powerful and quick-thinking skill that landed him a position on the Seattle Seahawks.

His bizarre incredible kick against the LA Rams was described by Pro Bowl punter Pat McAfee as ‘game changing’.

He delivered a showstopper performance on the weekend, kicking what was immediately hailed a 'perfect punt'  (pictured playing for Longhorns)

He delivered a showstopper performance on the weekend, kicking what was immediately hailed a ‘perfect punt’ (pictured playing for Longhorns)

His bizarre incredible kick against the LA Rams on Sunday was described by Pro Bowl punter Pat McAfee as 'game changing' (pictured with girlfriend Gianni Outram)

His bizarre incredible kick against the LA Rams on Sunday was described by Pro Bowl punter Pat McAfee as ‘game changing’ (pictured with girlfriend Gianni Outram)

Dickson punted from Seattle’s 43-yard line and landed the ball just one yard from the Rams’ end zone.

The ball bounced back to allow one of his teammates to mark it down on the Rams’ two yard line.

The Sydney Swans academy product was the only player in history to be overlooked in the AFL draft but then selected for the NFL.

A mere six games into his professional career with the Seahawks, the talented sportsman has already proven his potential and looks certain to keep improving.

Following the impressive kick, Dickson was given yet another flattering nickname, ‘Big Balls Dickson’, which even commentators have since picked up. 

The Sydney Swans academy product (pictured with girlfriend) was the only player in history to be overlooked in the AFL draft but then selected for the NFL

The Sydney Swans academy product (pictured with girlfriend) was the only player in history to be overlooked in the AFL draft but then selected for the NFL

Following the impressive kick, Dickson (pictured) was given yet another flattering nickname, 'Big Balls Dickson', which even commentators have since picked up

Following the impressive kick, Dickson (pictured) was given yet another flattering nickname, ‘Big Balls Dickson’, which even commentators have since picked up

The perfect punt came a week after Dickson was touted a good chance to be picked for the Pro Bowl, an all-star game of NFL, in his rookie season. 

Top players will be chosen from the leagues’ two conferences based on their performance throughout the season.

Ben Graham, the only Australian punter to play in a Super Bowl, told Wide World of Sports he believed Dickson was a favourite.

‘The way the Pro Bowl works, it’s a third of the fan vote, a third of the media and a third of the players, Graham said.

‘So sometimes it can be swayed by popular opinion and in Michael Dickson’s case, based on what he’s done so far this year, he’s a shoe-in.’

The perfect punt came a week after Dickson was touted a good chance to be picked for the Pro Bowl, an all-star game of NFL, in his rookie season

The perfect punt came a week after Dickson was touted a good chance to be picked for the Pro Bowl, an all-star game of NFL, in his rookie season

‘He has brought the position of punter to life based on what he’s been able to do on the field.’

Graham said while Australian boys grew up kicking footballs, NFL coaches sometimes turn them into robotic and technical punters.

‘Michael has been able to use some of his instincts to kick it away from the returner to really give the opposition something to think about,’ Graham said.

Providing the young sportsman keeps on top of his study, the requirement for his visa, he undoubtedly has a long and successful career in American football. 

Providing the young sportsman keeps on top of his study, the requirement for his visa, he has undoubtedly a long and successful career in American Football

Providing the young sportsman keeps on top of his study, the requirement for his visa, he has undoubtedly a long and successful career in American Football

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk