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2016 National Signing Day: Utah turns to Australia again for its next punter

Kevork Djansezian/Getty

It worked so well the last time around with an Australian punter, why not try it again? Ray Guy Award winner and Melbourne native Tom Hackett has exhausted his collegiate eligibility, leaving the Utes with a gaping hole to fill on fourth downs.

Closing that gap next year just might be punter Mitch Wishnowsky, a native of Gosnells, Western Australia. Wishonwsky, who has already enrolled at Utah, placed nearly half of his punts inside the 20 his freshman season at Santa Barbara City College in 2014 (he didn’t play in 2015).

“You’re gonna like our new Australian punter, by the way, Mitch Wishnowsky. Tom Hackett part two. He’s not quite the quote machine yet Tom is, but I think he’ll work into that,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said Wednesday at his signing day press conference. “He’s got a stronger leg than Tom, if you can believe that. He’s exceptional, so we’re excited about him.”

Whittingham wasn’t exaggerating about the strength of Wishnowsky’s leg. Hackett’s career-long punt at Utah was 76 yards, while Wishnowsky, who has three years of eligibility remaining, boomed one 77 yards at Santa Barbara City College. The punt game should still be a joy to watch for Utes fans.

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