December 6, 2012

Australian punter commits to Rutgers




One of the more unusual recruiting situations has hit Piscataway as Rutgers has accepted a commitment from 24-year old punter Dean Crozier of Melbourne, Australia. As long as Crozier satisfies all the international requirements, he will sign with the Scarlet Knights on Signing Day.
The 6-foot-7, 240-pound Crozier, who held offers from Coastal Carolina and Eastern Michigan, offered his take on his commitment.

"It's really amazing, because I'm an Australian boy, so to be from Australia and go to a system like that [at Rutgers], with all the coaches and support network they have, it's something out of this world," he said. "It's the coaches, people and players that really make that organization welcoming and make it a place that I want to go."

A graduate of Camberwell High School and a lifeguard by trade, Crozier has been kicking a football since he was four years old, and played Australian Rules Football from an early age. According to Crozier, Aussie Rules Football is different than rugby in that it incorporates more kicking.

Most recently, Crozier suited up for the Oakley Chargers, a representative club, but was not selected to the professional ranks.

Disappointed, but unbroken, he (literally) went back to the drawing board, using a whiteboard in his room in Melbourne to brainstorm his next move. Crozier knew he wanted to "do something that would combine my three passions: travel, sport and education."

It was then he received an unexpected bit of inspiration while watching television back home in Melbourne a little over a year ago.

"One day, I was watching the news and [LSU punter and fellow Australian native] Brad Wing came up," Crozier explained. "I kind of researched him a little bit, saw his stats and felt like I could definitely do that if not better."

From that point on, Crozier embarked on his punting career. After participating in the Chris Sailer Kicking Camp in Las Vegas, Crozier reached out to Rutgers and received a response from special teams coach Joe Rossi.

He then paid his own way to Rutgers for an unofficial visit in May.

Crozier's recruiter was special teams coach Joe Rossi, and he's also had the opportunity to meet Kyle Flood twice. Many recruits who choose Rutgers cite the emphasis on family as being a major reason for their decision. Despite his atypical background compared to those prospects, Crozier echoed their sentiments.

"They've got this motto at Rutgers, its family. I can relate to that, because I've got three brothers, my mom and dad, a very good girlfriend," he said. "They're very big on family. The way that they go about it, the whole team was very inviting. Coach Flood asked the right questions. He wanted to get to know me. I felt very comfortable. It was just like talking to my dad."

Throughout his life, Crozier has done his fair share of traveling, hitting New York City, Southeast Asia and Europe. Once all the red tape is cut through, he'll make his new home in Piscataway beginning in January.

"I'll fly back to Australia on December 10th and then come back to Rutgers in January," he said. "From there, we'll start smashing out training. I'm looking forward to my academic work as well as training. I'm also looking forward to getting out of my comfort zone."

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