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Lou Hedley makes his American football debut – becoming the latest Down Under star

A heavily-tattooed, moustached Australian has become the latest phenomenon from Down Under to take the American football world by storm.

Louis Hedley, a former AFL player from Western Australia, made his debut for the Miami Hurricanes against the Florida Gators during a pre-season match on Sunday.

Hedley, 26, had previously played football in Australia, before moving to the US in 2017, and had never seen an American football match before then. 

He is wearing number 94 while playing for Miami, the same number worn by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson when he played for the Hurricanes before going on to become a wrestler and movie star.

Hedley is the latest Australian to make his mark in football in the United States, following on from the likes of Jarryd Hayne, Valentine Holmes and Michael Dickson. 

Australian college football star Louis Hedley (pictured) made his debut for the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday

Hedley had previously played football in Australia, before moving to the U.S. in 2017, and had never seen an American football match before then

Hedley had previously played football in Australia, before moving to the U.S. in 2017, and had never seen an American football match before then

The punter stands at 6ft4 and weighs 98kg – and sports a signature moustache and proudly shows off his heavily-tattooed arms.

When his signing for Miami was announced Sports Illustrated called Hedley the ‘coolest-looking punter ever’. 

While it was his looks that first caught America’s attention it was how the 25-year-old played on the field during the match that made a lasting impression after getting his first punt away under pressure for 43 yards. 

Fans took to Twitter to reveal how impressed they were with Hedley’s game play.

‘Now the show starts. It is Lou Hedley time, America,’ one person tweeted. 

The punter stands at 6ft4 and weighs 98kg - and sports a signature moustache and proudly shows off his heavily-tattooed arms

The punter stands at 6ft4 and weighs 98kg – and sports a signature moustache and proudly shows off his heavily-tattooed arms

While it was his looks that first caught America's attention it was how the 25-year-old played on the field during the match that made a lasting impression after getting his first punt away under pressure for 43 yards

While it was his looks that first caught America’s attention it was how the 25-year-old played on the field during the match that made a lasting impression after getting his first punt away under pressure for 43 yards

Another said: ‘I’m only watching this game to see Lou Hedley.’

‘Lou Hedley is my favorite player in college football,’ another announced.

His real praise came from former NFL star turned actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.  

‘Thanks for rockin’ my #94, Lou Hedley,’ he tweeted.

‘Look forward to that workout one day. In the meantime, welcome to the U, keep disrupting and always be the hardest worker in the (MF’n) room (sic).’

His real praise came from former NFL star turned actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson

His real praise came from former NFL star turned actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

Hedley is not the only Australian making their debut in the world of American football.

Another Australian who will make their college debut in the new season is former Richmond Tigers star Ben Griffiths.

The 27-year-old retired from AFL at the beginning of the 2018 season following a series of injuries and concussions.

The USC Trojans were in need of punter for the 2019 season and Griffiths was announced in December 2018 as the team’s answer. 

Hedley is not the only Australian making their debut in the world of American football - punter Mitch Wishnowsky (pictured) will play in the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers

Hedley is not the only Australian making their debut in the world of American football – punter Mitch Wishnowsky (pictured) will play in the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers

Griffiths, who will turn 28 in September, is one of the oldest players to make their debut for the club, according to The Athletic.

Mitch Wishnowsky made his debut in the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday during a pre-season match.

The 27-year-old made an impressive start made a massive hit against Broncos kick returner Devontae Jackson.

That was until Wishnowsky lowered his shoulder and drove it into Jackson, driving him into the turf in a thumping tackle.

Another Australian who will make their college debut in the new season is former Richmond Tigers star Ben Griffiths (pictured)

Another Australian who will make their college debut in the new season is former Richmond Tigers star Ben Griffiths (pictured)

‘That’s what happens when you’re a former Aussie Rules football player,’ a commentator said.

In 2015 it was announced NRL player Jarryd Hayne would play for the San Francisco 49ers, before he returned to Australia.

Another Australian taking the field is former NRL Cronulla Sharks player Valentine Holmes, who everyone is watching with a keen eye.  

The 25-year-old made the jump to the NFL’s New York Jets in April after signing a one-year contract with the club.

His signing came as part of an initiative by the league called the NFL International Player Pathway Program.

Earlier this month he put in a disappointing performance during a pre-season match after having only three runs and only being able to make a total of three yards. 

Another Australian taking the field is former NRL Cronulla Sharks player Valentine Holmes, who everyone is watching with a keen eye

Another Australian taking the field is former NRL Cronulla Sharks player Valentine Holmes, who everyone is watching with a keen eye

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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