Isaac Pearson was a coal mine mechanic playing a video game when he noticed something that would change his life.
"I actually stumbled across - while playing Madden - current Steelers punter Jordan Berry punting for the game that I was playing," Pearson said. "I saw that he was Aussie and so I researched what sort of academy he came from."
A quick google search later, he found ProKick Academy, an Australian program that has produced 17 All Americans, 75 Division I scholarship athletes and five Ray Guy Award winners.
"I saw an opportunity to go get a degree," he said. "(To) get out of the pits, off the tools and play a sport at an elite level in another country."
"(It's an experience) money couldn't buy. It seemed like a no brainer at the time."
Pearson worked with coaches Nathan Chapman and John Smith to become the latest in a long line of successful Australian-born punters in American football.
While polishing his skills he also started looking for potential landing spots in the United States.
"I googled 'coolest college teams' and the Texas Longhorns came up at the top of the list," Pearson said. "I couldn't think of anything more American than that."
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Pearson began following the Longhorns and punter and Aussie-born punter Michael Dickson as went on to win the Ray Guy Award and start a career with the Seattle Seahawks.
He began talking with Texas special teams quality control coach Casey Horny. The Texas staff began a relationship with Pearson that eventually led to Herman making a scholarship offer.
"That was a really surreal experience," Pearson said.
When asked if Herman referred to him by his name or just "the punter" Pearson laughed.
"Yeah, he called me Isaac," he said.
If fans are allowed in the stands this fall, Pearson wants to take a visit to Austin this fall to see the facilities and treat his dad and brother to a live American football game.
After that h plans to enroll in the spring semester of 2021 and spend a year learning under current Texas punter Ryan Bujcevski - a fellow ProKick Academy alum.
My early days training the program was around the time that Ryan was getting ready to go over to Austin as a freshman," Pearson said. "It was a brief period and but it was a good chance to train him and get to know him a little bit. I can't wait to get to know him properly over in Austin and get to work with him there."