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Arizona’s 320-Pound Discus Champion Lineman Wants to Be a Punter

Can you imagine a punter who’s 6'7" and 320 pounds?

Arizona offensive lineman Gerhard de Beer might be one of the most interesting players in college football. The redshirt senior came from South Africa to join the Wildcats’ track and field program as a discus thrower and won the Pac-12 championship in 2015. Having played rugby back home, he also went out for the football team. Despite not knowing the first thing about American football—being 6'7" and 320 pounds definitely lessens the learning curve—he eventually became a starter on the offensive line.

Now, he wants to punt. 

Head coach Rich Rodriguez was asked during a meeting with reporters on Tuesday morning if he had anyone on the roster to challenge struggling punter Jake Glatting. He threw out a few names, including de Beer’s. 

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“Shoot, even Gerhard de Beer can punt a little bit,” Rodriguez said. “He might have the best leg on the team, I just can’t imagine putting a 320-pounder back there. But he’s begging for an opportunity. He’s done it in practice and you can know when Gerhard’s punting because you can hear it. It sounds like a shotgun going off.”

Asked why he hasn’t had de Beer boom one in a game yet, Rodriguez replied, “probably just the visual of that.”

Below is an artist’s rendering of what this might look like. 


Go ahead, RichRod, let the big man explode a ball with his dang foot.