Syracuse had a surprise addition to its 2022 class in Australian punter Max Von Marburg. All Syracuse caught up with him to get the details on how he ended up with the Orange.
Q: How did Syracuse get in touch with you and how did you end up at Syracuse?
Von Marburg: "There's this program in Melbourne, Australia called Pro Kick Australia. They basically train and recruit prospects to turn them into college punters. I can't remember the exact stats but something like six of the last nine Ray Guy Award winners were from Pro Kick Australia. So they have a reputation for making punters and Syracuse University needed someone to fill the role. The coaches in Melbourne thought I'd be best to fit the role. Then I got onto the phone with coach Babers. It was pretty smooth. It probably took, I would say, four weeks or so from the time I started talking to them, Syracuse University, until I committed."
Q: What was the evaluation process like with the coaches unable to see you in person?
Von Marburg: "Obviously because US coaches can't come over to Australia, we had to set up film for them to see which is realistic to game simulation. We would have someone snapping and then we would have a few people rushing while we were kicking the balls. We would collect these films and we would put them into a video for the coaches to see. The thing is the films are always running. There's no editing. So you have to make sure you have good balls on because if you don't it's not going to be good for the coach to see."
Q: When did Syracuse offer you a scholarship?
Von Marburg: "I would say probably a month ago, from memory. Mid November."
Q: Have you had a chance to speak with the new special teams coordinator, Bob Ligashesky?
Von Marburg: "He only got into Syracuse a few weeks ago. He rang me on Monday and just introduced himself and everything. He's obviously just settling in. He showed me around the facilities, which are amazing. Just showed me everything and introduced himself and introduced me to other staff as well. I think we'll work together really well. He's obviously very highly touted having been the special teams coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, obviously Illinois had a very good special teams unit and then Bowling Green. I'll be fortunate to have such an experienced special teams coach."
Q: What was your impression of coach Babers?
Von Marburg: "He's a very charismatic man. Charismatic. That's the one word."
Q: What is your age, height and weight?
Von Marburg: "I'm 19 years old. I am 6-foot and 192 pounds."
Q: Where there other schools involved in the recruiting process?
Von Marburg: "I started with Pro Kick Australia in January. I've been training with them for close to 12 months. There were other schools discussed along the way but nothing real formalized. They were all just discussions. Syracuse really came from the start. They loved my product. They thought I'd be a great fit at the university. We were like 'we're definitely going to go with them because it's an amazing academic and football institution, which was pretty key to me. It just fit the mold perfectly."
Q: What does your family think about you going halfway around the world to kick a football?
Von Marburg: "The funny thing is, Mike, my mom's from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. My mom's side of the family is three hours away from Syracuse, so I'll be able to visit them on the weekends. Mom and dad were obviously very proud because Syracuse is an amazing academic and football institution. They're obviously very excited for me. Mom, obviously, cried. I think that's just a mom thing to do. They were very happy for me."
Q: Did you have a relative that went to Syracuse at some point?
Von Marburg: "That's correct. My cousin, Sylvia Driver, she went to Syracuse, I think it was 2012 to 2014. I can't remember the dates exactly."
Q: Tell Syracuse fans a little bit about you off the field.
Von Marburg: "They'll be happy to know I'm a big fan of American food. If it's greasy and there's a lot of meat, I'll be happy to eat it. So burgers, Philly cheesesteaks my favorite food. Can't beat them, probably not the healthiest food, but those are my two favorites. Things I get into in my downtime, I'm a huge Batman fan. So The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, pretty iconic. Music, I do like 80s music, actually."