Michael Dickson
refer to caption
Dickson with the Seattle Seahawks in 2018
No. 4 – Seattle Seahawks
Position:Punter
Personal information
Born: (1996-01-04) 4 January 1996 (age 26)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:208 lb (94 kg)
Career information
High school:Kirrawee High School
(Sydney, NSW, Australia)
College:Texas
NFL Draft:2018 / Round: 5 / Pick: 149
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2021
Punts:296
Punting yards:14,023
Average punt:47.4
Longest punt:69
Inside 20:134
Player stats at NFL.com

Michael Dickson (born 4 January 1996) is an Australian professional American football punter for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Texas. Regarded as one of the best punters in the league, his career punt average of 47.4 yards per punt ranks as the second-highest in NFL history.[1][2]

Early life

Born in Sydney, Dickson first played soccer in his youth before switching to Australian rules football at the age of 9.[3] In his first year of playing Australian rules football, he earned the Golden Boot award for having the best kicking. He excelled in Australian football while playing for the University of New South Wales[4] in the local Sydney AFL competition and was subsequently placed in the Sydney Swans talent academy as a teenager.[5] He continued to play for UNSW and the Swans reserves[6] in the North East Australian Football League in an attempt to be drafted to a professional AFL team[7] but was overlooked at the 2014 AFL draft.[8] Dickson's Australian football career highlight occurred when he was chosen to play for the Swans in the 2014 NEAFL Grand Final.[9] The Swans were defeated by a two-point margin in the final.

In 2015, at the age of 19, he moved to Melbourne to trial with Prokick Australia, a coaching program designed to help aspiring kickers and punters cross the Pacific and crack American football.[10] Through his Prokick Australia experience, he was picked up by the University of Texas as a punter by head coach Charlie Strong.[11]

College career

Michael Dickson at Big 12 Media Day in 2017
Michael Dickson at Big 12 Media Day in 2017

In his first season with the Longhorns, Dickson had 77 punts for 3,179 net yards for a 41.3 average in 2015.[12] In the 2016 season, he had 65 punts for 3,079 net yards for a 47.4 average.[13] In 2017, Dickson won the Ray Guy Award and was a unanimous All-American.[14] Dickson was named MVP of the 2017 Texas Bowl.[15] In his junior season, he had 84 punts for 3,984 net yards for a 47.4 average. In late December 2017, it was announced that Dickson would forgo his senior year at Texas in favor of the 2018 NFL Draft.[16][17]

Collegiate statistics

Michael Dickson Punting
Year School Conf Class Pos G Punts Yds Avg
2015 Texas Big 12 FR P 12 77 3,179 41.3
2016 Texas Big 12 SO P 12 65 3,079 47.4
2017 Texas Big 12 JR P 13 84 3,984 47.4
Career Texas 37 226 10,242 45.3

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span
6 ft 2+38 in
(1.89 m)
208 lb
(94 kg)
31+14 in
(0.79 m)
9+14 in
(0.23 m)
All values from NFL Combine[18]

Dickson was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round, 149th overall, of the 2018 NFL Draft.[19] Dickson would go on to win the punting job, after the Seahawks released longtime veteran Jon Ryan during the preseason.[20] He made his NFL debut in the Seahawks' season opener against the Denver Broncos. In the 27–24 loss, he had six punts for 354 net yards.[21]

Dickson was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in Week 8 against the Detroit Lions.[22] With minutes remaining at fourth-and-8 from their own three-yard line, Dickson was instructed to waste time in the end zone before giving up an intentional safety. Instead, after receiving the snap, he ran it nine yards for the first down, sealing the win.[23][24][25] The unscripted play was later dubbed "The Aussie Sweep."[26] Dickson was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Month for November 2018.[27]

Dickson punted the ball 78 times for 3,759 yards in the 2018 season. His average of 48.2 yards per punt ranked as the second-highest in the league.[28] In addition to punting, Dickson occasionally used the previously obscure drop kick maneuver on kickoffs for the Seahawks, both onside kicks and standard deep kicks.[29] For his efforts, Dickson was voted into the 2019 Pro Bowl, the first rookie punter to participate since Dale Hatcher in 1985.[30] In addition, Dickson was named as a first-team All-Pro.[31]

In the 2019 season, Dickson had 74 punts for 3,341 yards, an average of 45.2 yards per punt.

In Week 2 of the 2020 season, against the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football, Dickson punted four times (50-yard average) with all four of them landing inside the 20-yard line during the 35–30 win. He would be named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for the performance.[32] In Week 15 against the Washington Football Team, Dickson punted four times, all landing inside the 20-yard-line, earning another NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honor.[33] During the 2020 season, Dickson punted 61 times for 3,028 yards, with his punting average of 49.6 yards being the second-highest in the league, and the 9th highest single-season average of all time.[34]

Dickson signed a four-year, $14.5 million contract extension with the Seahawks on 4 June 2021.[35][36]

During Week 5 of the 2021 season, in a game against the Los Angeles Rams, Dickson initially had a punt blocked. He then chased down the football behind the line of scrimmage, picking it up with one hand, and punting it for a second time while on the run, reminiscent of Australian rules football. The punt would go for 68 yards, his longest of the season, and be downed on the Rams' 10-yard line.[37] The "double punt" received national attention due to its relative obscurity, and is considered one of the most memorable special teams plays of all time.[38][39][40]

Dickson punted the ball a career-high 83 times for 3,895 yards during the 2021 season, an average of 46.9 yards per punt. He pinned 40 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line, the most in the league that season, and the 10th most in a single season in NFL history.[41][42]

See also

References

  1. ^ "NFL Yards per Punt Career Leaders (Since 1939)". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  2. ^ "Michael Dickson has the Hall of Fame and UFOs on his mind". 29 November 2021.
  3. ^ "FORMER SWANS HOPEFUL'S SHOT AT NFL DREAM". www.dailytelegraph.com.au.
  4. ^ "Longhorns take a punt on Dickson - AFL NSW / ACT". 2 September 2015.
  5. ^ Wingard, Anthony; Stedman, Myles (30 April 2018). "Former NEAFL player Michael Dickson snapped up in NFL Draft". NEAFL. Archived from the original on 15 April 2019. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  6. ^ "LHN All Access: Michael Dickson [Nov. 28, 2015]". 28 November 2015 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ Whiting, Michael. "AFL names academy players eligible for draft". AFL.com.au. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  8. ^ McCullough, Ian (15 October 2018). "Australian punter Dickson thriving as an NFL revolutionary". Sydney Morning Herald.
  9. ^ "Dickson eyes the big time". Sydney Swans. Archived from the original on 18 September 2018. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Academy: Dickson joins Seahawks". sydneyswans.com.au.
  11. ^ "Australian punter Michael Dickson committed to Texas". Gridiron DownUnder. 26 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Michael Dickson 2015 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  13. ^ "Michael Dickson 2016 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  14. ^ "Texas punter declares early for NFL draft".
  15. ^ "Texas punter Michael Dickson named Texas Bowl MVP". 28 December 2017.
  16. ^ "Horns punter Dickson declares for NFL draft". 21 December 2017.
  17. ^ "Michael Dickson 2017 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  18. ^ "Michael Dickson Combine Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  19. ^ Boyle, John (28 April 2018). "Seahawks Draft University Of Texas Punter Michael Dickson In Fifth Round Of 2018 NFL Draft". Seahawks.com. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  20. ^ Boyle, John (20 August 2018). "Seahawks Release Longtime Punter And Franchise Icon Jon Ryan". Seahawks.com.
  21. ^ "Seattle Seahawks at Denver Broncos - September 9th, 2018". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  22. ^ "James Conner, Adrian Peterson among Players of the Week". NFL.com. 31 October 2018.
  23. ^ "Aussie Sweep: How A Bold Decision By Michael Dickson Helped The Seahawks Win In Detroit". Seahawks.com. 28 October 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  24. ^ Bell, Gregg. "Seahawks punter Michael Dickson was freelancing when he took off running for game-clinching first down at Detroit". thenewstribune. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  25. ^ Condotta, Bob (28 October 2018). "Seahawks punter Michael Dickson earns a new nickname with unscripted run on fake punt". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  26. ^ Patton, Andy (29 October 2018). "'Aussie sweep' was an unplanned, but 'incredibly beautiful play'". Seahawks Wire. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  27. ^ "AFC and NFC Players of the Month - November". NFL.com. 1 December 2018.
  28. ^ "Michael Dickson 2018 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  29. ^ "Michael Dickson does drop-kick kickoff and onside kick in Seahawks' loss to Bears". USA TODAY. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  30. ^ Condotta, Bob (18 December 2018). "Seahawks Bobby Wagner and Michael Dickson voted to the Pro Bowl, seven others are alternates". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  31. ^ "2018 NFL All-Pros". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  32. ^ Gordon, Grant (23 September 2020). "Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, Bills QB Josh Allen among Players of the Week". www.nfl.com. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  33. ^ Gordon, Grant (23 December 2020). "Bills QB Josh Allen, Cardinals QB Kyler Murray lead Players of the Week". NFL.com.
  34. ^ "NFL Single-Season Yards per Punt Leaders Through 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  35. ^ Boyle, John (4 June 2021). "Seahawks Sign Punter Michael Dickson To Four-Year Contract Extension". Seahawks.com. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  36. ^ Mickanen, Dylan (4 June 2021). "Seahawks ink punter Michael Dickson to 4-year extension". NBCSports.com. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  37. ^ "Monday Round-Up: Michael Dickson's Double-Punt Goes Down As 'Play Of A Lifetime'". Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  38. ^ "Michael Dickson's Double-Punt Was One of the Best Plays Ever". 8 October 2021.
  39. ^ "The NFL's Play of the Year Might Just be the Double Punt from Seattle's Michael Dickson". CBS News.
  40. ^ "Michael Dickson's double-punt is one of the greatest plays in NFL history. Yes, really!". 8 October 2021.
  41. ^ "Michael Dickson 2021 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  42. ^ https://www.footballdb.com/leaders/season-punting-in20
Preceded byJon Ryan Seattle Seahawks punters 2018–present Succeeded byIncumbent