Interest charge

Adam Korsak leads the charge of Aussie punters in the Big Ten

INDIANAPOLIS — In 2017, Adam Korsak arrived in New Jersey aiming to begin a new journey as a Scarlet Knights punter. Five years later, he has overcome the initial culture shock and is paving the way for other Australian punters to succeed in the Big Ten.

Korsak is one of the top punters in the country and was recently named to the Ray Guy Awards Watch List ahead of the 2022 season – his fifth straight year to earn the honor. The native of Melbourne, Australia implements a style he has used since childhood.

“We play a game called Aussie Rules football,” Korsak explained. “To pass the ball, you have to kick it. To score the ball, you must kick it. So throwing the ball comes very naturally to Australians. It’s such an important sport in Australia because it’s our sport. It’s not really played anywhere else in the world.

In 2021, Korsak had a banner year for the Scarlet Knights. He led the nation with a net punt of 45.34. Opponents have been held back four or less on 67 of Korsak’s 70 punts this season. Of those 70 punts, 37 landed inside the 20-yard line while 15 settled inside the 10 and four directly on the one-yard line. Korsak was also named First Team All-Big Ten in the coaches’ vote.

Korsak was named a second-team All-American and was one of three finalists for the Ray Guy Award, which many thought he should win. Being snubbed isn’t on Korsak’s mind heading into the new season.

“If I don’t focus on camp this year, I won’t be a great bettor,” Korsak said. “It might sound like a cliché, but my way of working is that I have to focus on every game because I’m not good enough not to. If I think about the price in six months, I won’t be a good one. bettor tomorrow.

The all-encompassing work ethic and passion for the punt puts Korsak at the top of his game and the perfect leader for the next generation of Aussie punters.

Rutgers added another Aussie punter in the offseason. Flynn Appleby is expected to act as Korsak’s successor.

“The coach said we thought we had another Aussie and that meant a lot to me,” Korsak said. “That was one of my goals when I came here, to put Australian punters in a position where the coach would want another.”

Head coach Greg Schiano praised Korsak for his work on and off the field. He’s been a main cog for the Scarlet Knights for the past four years and believes the punter can take it to the next level.

“Adam is the best bettor I’ve seen in 35 years,” Schiano said. “That’s a pretty big statement. I have met many of them.

Both Korsak and Schiano have expressed interest in adding some diversity to Korsak’s game. That means adding a more traditional barque style to prepare it for the next level. Korsak has practiced this in the past and will continue to refine his game in all areas.

“I’ve always liked kicking the ball,” Korsak said. “Whatever punt I’m asked to do, I’m going to do my best. I don’t necessarily think we’re going to change too much. We are going to do what we have done for the past four years.

The style of punting in Australia compared to the NFL is wildly different, but Korsak has found a way to master both. He continues to scramble a bit before letting loose on the pitch but there’s a chance that could change.

The NFL style of punting, of course, has the punter stand upright when receiving the ball and blast through it while standing.

“The way you hold the ball is very different,” Korsak said. “The way you let go of the ball is very different. Your head position is very different. Your body posture being more over the ball instead of leaning back. Because the way you drop the ball is different, the way you hit it will be different. I have my own technique. I’m not trying to be someone I’m not. I know who I am and I know my strengths. »

Korsak is gearing up for his fifth and final season at Piscataway. Rutgers is happy to reunite with his All-American punter and team captain while Korsak stays at a place he enjoyed as a second home.

“New Jersey people are different,” Korsak said. “Jersey juice is amazing. I like the energy of the people and they have welcomed me since the day I arrived here. I really like being separated from New Jersey and Rutgers. I didn’t have a bad day on campus and I’m very grateful to the people who welcomed me. This is one of the main reasons why I decided to stay.