football Edit

Australian punter Straw sees opportunity at West Virginia

Straw will enroll at West Virginia for the 2022 season.
Straw will enroll at West Virginia for the 2022 season.

Australian punter Oliver Straw didn’t need much convincing to take a scholarship opportunity in a different country altogether for West Virginia.

Straw, 6-foot-3, 225-pounds, had been to the states before as an exchange student in New Jersey and that’s where he picked up on punting. Once he returned to Australia he started to work with coaches Nathan Chapman and John Smith with Prokick Australia training group.

It was those coaches that sent his film to West Virginia and things moved quickly from there as it was head coach Neal Brown that extended the scholarship offer.

“I received the offer this week after speaking with the coaching staff,” he said.

After talking with Josh Growden, another former Australian punter that migrated to Morgantown and now works with Prokick, Straw had everything he needed to make a decision. West Virginia would be where he would spend his college career kicking the football.

“I love the look of the program and the culture West Virginia is building under coach Brown. I spoke to Josh Growden before I had bene offered and he told me great things about the college and the people. That really made it easy,” he said.

Straw, like most Australian punters, can boot the ball in a variety of ways and has the ability to spiral the ball, coffin corner it, or use some tactics that aren’t necessarily orthodox. Straw has been training with Prokick for two years now and credits them with his development.

The plan is for Straw to arrive in January and is expected to compete for time immediately as starting punter Tyler Sumpter will be graduating.

“I’ve been told they expect me to compete for my position and I’ll do my best to make the starting spot and make a positive impact on the team,” he said.

Straw is the 18th commitment for West Virginia in the 2022 recruiting class.


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