Forget Hayne, 49ers have new Aussie gun
Forget Jarryd Hayne, the San Francisco 49ers have a new Aussie gun.
Rookie punter Mitch Wishnowsky was on Thursday (AEDT) awarded the NFC's special teams player of the week award for his sharp-shooting punts in the Niners' 28-25 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in week nine.
The 27-year-old Western Australian has become the first 49ers rookie to win the special teams player of the week award since 1994.
The 49ers reported Wishnowsky averaged 46.2 yards on five punts with a net average of 42.8 yards as San Francisco remained the only undefeated team in the NFL with a perfect 8-0 record.
He was awarded the gong after three of his five punts pinned the Cardinals inside their own 20-yard line.
The last 49ers rookie to win the NFC's special teams player of the week award was Doug O'Brien in 1994 - the last time the 49ers won the Super Bowl.
He becomes the third Aussie to win the award in the last four years with Seattle's Mike Dickson (2018) and Brad Wing (2016 with the New York Giants) recently winning the award.
The University of Utah star has completely justified the major gamble San Francisco made in taking the Aussie as the first punter picked in the 2019 NFL Draft earlier this year.
Wishnowsky was picked in the fourth round, making his dreams come true.
His rise to become the Niners first-string punter in his first season is an incredible story of success.
The former Aussie-rules player was forced to give up football after a series of shoulder injuries.
However, with the help of the highly-successful Prokick Australia punting academy, Wishnowsky has enjoyed success that few athletes get to taste in their careers.
He was named an All-American in each of his three years at Utah and won the Ray Guy Award for being US college football's best punter.
The awards haven't stopped coming since his promotion to the NFL.