CARBONDALE (WSIL) — Over 9 thousand miles from home, SIU punter and Australian native Jack Colquhoun finds some things a little different here in America.
"Every time I go out and I put my boots on everyone kinda looks at me weird and they are like what are you talking about no one is wearing boots here," said Colquhoun.
Even the menu is a little different from his liking.
"Being from Melbourne, it’s massive like health," said Colquhoun. "Everything’s about being vegan, being vegetarian, being free sugar free, and then coming here everything’s like more sugar on your captain crunch."
However, despite being from different cultures, Colquhoun had no trouble fitting in with the Salukis.
"That’s one thing he talked about," said special teams coach Jared Petrino. "There is nothing that simulates this in Australia as far as teamwork and togetherness and family as a sport like in Australia. He just loves the brotherhood."
"6 months down the track I can say that I am one of the boys. They are all my brothers," said Colquhoun. "You know I can say I’ve got 104 brothers out there now."
Colquhoun was recruited out of Prokick Australia; A school that has a history of producing high caliber punters that play all over in the United States.
"It was something I didn’t expect, working towards to come over here and play football," said Colquhoun. "But, to get the opportunity to come to Southern Illinois. I’m just super blessed to be here. It’s just an amazing place."
Prior to stepping on SIU’s campus, Colquhoun had never played American football before.
"I mean that was the first football game he’s ever seen and he is actually playing in it," said Petrino. "His first punt he absolutely crushes it and I think the jitters got out."
"Probably the hardest part, I think is learning the rules," said Colquhoun. "I still stand on the sidelines and knock one of my teammates and ask what was that penalty for or what was that flag for. So, kinda picking up the fundamentals, because for me all I learned back in Australia is if you catch a ball you got to get rid of the ball as quick as you can and kick it as far as you can."
Colquhoun continues to learn the American rules and has hopes of continuing his football career in the NFL. For now he’s just gearing up for next season.