October 15, 2009

Punter accepts grayshirt offer

Coming over to Iowa as an exchange student in 2006, Jonny Mullings could have never imagined the whole experience would ultimately lead to playing college football. But the Bristol, England native, who grew up playing rugby, showed an extremely powerful leg as a punter and continued to pursue a future on the gridiron after returning home and eventually moving to Australia with his parents. Now, the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Mullings has that opportunity as he will return to the state of Iowa to punt for the Hawkeyes.

Mullings' journey to playing for the Hawkeyes starts in Ottumwa, Iowa, where he spent the fall of 2006 as an exchange student. Punting for the JV team because of state high school rules, the left-footer showed a tremendous leg, including an 85-yard punt in one game that everyone still remembers to this day. When his parents moved to Canberra, Australia the following year, Mullings continued to play football and had a 45.1 yard average last season, and as he started to pick up college interest in the States, never forgot his Hawkeye roots so to speak.

The Hawkeyes hosted Mullings on an official visit last weekend where he had a chance to tour the campus and facilities. He also talked with the Iowa coaching staff, whose current starting punter, Ryan Donahue, graduates after the 2010 season, leaving the job wide open for 2011 when Mullings is set to enroll on scholarship. In the meantime, the 21-year-old will return home to Australia where he currently works as a personal trainer. Mullings, who said his eligibility has already been approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse, plans to workout, stay in shape, and get ready to live his dream back in Iowa.


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