SIU punter Jack Colquhoun

SIU punter Jack Colquhoun

P Jack Colquhoun

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 190 pounds

Class: Junior

Major: Finance, graduate school in economics

Hometown: Melbourne, Australia

He can punt a football on the run as well as he can straight on off the snap. He throws a better spiral than you. SIU's punter from down under, Jack Colquhoun, grew up playing water polo, golf and Australian rules football, where he could run up to eight miles a game on a field that was about 200 yards long and 60 yards wide. Then he saw a photo on one of his high school friend's Facebook page, who was a collegiate punter at the University of Hawaii. Colquhoun (pronounced Kuh-hoon), a graduate of Bond University in Australia, wanted to punt for an American football team, and started working at it last August. Colquhoun speaks Indonesian and some Malaysian, and hopes to go into business after finishing his master's degree here.

In this week's Meet A Saluki, Colquhoun talks about his first American football game, how he learned how to punt in a couple of months, and how insane water polo players are.

What was your first game like?

It was amazing. I loved it. It was so different, coming from Australia, and there is nothing like it in Australia. Coming here and having my first experience with football - I'd watched it on TV but never experienced it first-hand - so, for me, it was kind of a 'Wow' moment. I loved every minute of it. First kick, I was nervous, not gonna lie, but after that I felt comfortable out there, and that was my main goal.

Did you ever play a rugby game in front of 10,000 people?

I played Aussie rules, and the most people I'd ever play in front of at a game was, maybe, 1,000 people. Nothing that is the scale over here. It's something that I've been getting comfortable the last couple weeks, but, again, very comfortable with it now.

How did you get interested in American football?

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There's a program in Australia, called Prokick Australia, which is run by Nathan Chapman and John Smith. A friend of mine who went to high school with is now playing at Hawaii, he's playing football there, and I just saw a photo on his Facebook and it kind of sparked my interest. I was trying to filter in to a professional career in Aussie rules, but, unfortunately, that did not end up working out the way I wanted it to, and then I found Prokick and I thought this might be something I may be interested in.

I wanted to go back and study, as well, so, I'm doing my master's here at SIU, and I completed my undergraduate degree in Australia and I was looking to do my master's. This was just a way for me to do that and play football. The football over here, it was really something I wanted to do.

How long did it take you to adjust to the punting here?

Like, the spiral punt back home, we call it the torpedo, so, we try to do torpedos in Aussie rules, but they're not as successful punting as they are here. I started punting at the start of the year, January, the start of this year, I learned how to punt. And then I was recruited by coach (Nick) Hill and coach (Jason) Petrino in April, and now I'm here.

What was the worst injury you ever had in rugby?

A couple of concussions. We have the same contact we have in football, but we don't have any protection, so, we're running around in tank tops, shorts and long socks. So it's a bit different. Contact can come from anywhere, as well, because there's no line of scrimmage in Aussie rules. You can get hit from the side, from behind, and in the front. Anywhere. So that was the main injury I had, one or two concussions, but other than that, I stayed pretty injury free, and I've been blessed. I'm happy to stay away from all of that stuff.

Is rugby harder than water polo?

I grew up playing water polo. My auntie, she was on the Olympic squad for water polo, and my dad and uncle grew up playing water polo, as well, so, I trained too. I was a swimmer and transferred to water polo, but that sport's insane. It's crazy. It's so physical on your body. It's essentially you're playing football in the water, you gotta swim, and you gotta keep yourself afloat at the same time, so there's so many things going on at once. That sport is probably the hardest sport I've ever played, the most physically demanding on your body.

What do your parents do back in Australia?

Both my parents own their own businesses. My mum has a luxury travel agency, and then my dad owns his own commercial plumbing business, which he's owned for 35 years. On the side, they also do property development, as well, so, they buy houses and do 'em up, and then hold onto them a bit, and then sell them. They're always busy doing stuff. Unfortunately, they couldn't come out for the first game this season, but I just spoke to mum a couple of days ago and she said she's going to make it out for the NDSU game at the end of the season, which I'm pretty excited for.

They watch the games on ESPN back in Australia. I get all the texts once through. I go back to the locker room and see that they've been watching, which is awesome, but to get them here at the end of the year will be pretty exciting so I'm looking forward to that.

— Todd Hefferman

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