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Rugby League - Knight's Cory Paterson A Potential Nfl Punter

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#1 monaroCountry


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Posted 30 March 2008 - 09:09 AM

Paterson the punter

By James Hooper | March 30, 2008 12:00am

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Punting whiz ... Corey Paterson has been identified by NFL scouts. / The Sunday Telegraph

THE Newcastle Knights' boom young forward Cory Paterson has been identified by Australian NFL talent scouts as a potential punt kicking star in the lucrative world of American football.

Paterson can place kick the ball 70m (77 yards) on the fly and make a spiral bomb come down with frost on it.

Spotted showcasing his kicking talents in a Newcastle trial against Cessnock last month, Paterson was approached by Ozpunt NFL talent scout agency to film a highlights reel for screening in the US.

Taped at EnergyAustralia Stadium a fortnight ago, the footage will be sent to the Denver Broncos and New York Jets for analysis.

"I'd have to weigh up the options if the NFL thing goes further. I'm contracted to the Knights until the end of next season. If it comes off I'd obviously have a look at it.

"They were just watching me do some kick-offs one day and then I just got a phone call off them.''

The NFL talent scout who spotted Paterson, Ozpunt's Paul Shepherd, rates the Newcastle forward as "a cut above'' American football standard.

Shepherd predicted the NFL would soon become inundated with Australian punt kickers due to the wealth of talent here.

"Cory's definitely got what it takes to cut it in the NFL - he's kicking above NFL standard at the moment but his technique just needs some work,'' Shepherd said.

Retired AFL player Darren Bennett pioneered Australian punt kickers in the NFL, establishing himself as a star for the San Diego Chargers throughout the 1990s.

Other retired AFL stars who have made it in the US market include Ben Graham, who signed a $6million six-year contract with the New York Jets in May 2006, and Sav Rocca, brother of Collingwood star Anthony Rocca.

Testing done by Oztag revealed his "hang time'' with an NFL ball was the equal of other punt kickers in the US. But his only drop kick in an NRL match wasn't exactly out of the Nathan Cayless play book.

As Channel Nine commentator Ray Warren called it last Friday night against the Eels: "Well, he's pulled out the sand wedge instead of the seven iron.''

Paterson's reply? "I should have got the driver out.''

Cory Paterson Stat

Age: 20
Height: 65
Weight: 232lb

Newcastle NRL video of Cory Paterson

#2 monaroCountry


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Posted 05 May 2008 - 07:11 AM

Another rugby league player with potential

Hit-run victim's wish to win big on the NFL punt

A HIT-RUN survivor struggling to ignite his rugby league career could become the next Australian to make it big in America's National Football League.

Ben Matterson has already confounded the experts by resuming his football career in the National Rugby League with the Gold Coast Titans after being knocked from his bicycle by a speeding car. And now the 21-year-old is taking on another ambitious challenge by having trials for an American football contract.

Matterson is on a meagre deal with the Titans and does labouring work to supplement his income. While he is scraping to make ends meet now, he could hit the jackpot as an American football kicker.

"I was always able to kick a ball reasonably well, so it just seemed a different avenue to rugby league or anything else in Australia," Matterson said. "I'd love to break through to the full-time squad in the NRL, but in the meantime if the NFL come to me and say, 'We've got a position for you', I'd take that."

The Australian Punting and Kicking Academy (Ozpunt) invited Matterson and Newcastle Knights forward Cory Paterson to a kicking session recently. Ozpunt's Cameron McGillivray was impressed and said the pair's physique and skill levels were attributes keenly sought in the US.

"A lot of the kickers in the NFL are five feet nine inches (175 centimetres) and 180 pounds (82 kilograms)," McGillivray said. "Ben Matterson is six foot four (193 centimetres) and 240 pounds (109 kilograms). NFL coaches are looking at guys like him and saying, 'This is awesome', because they are the usual size requirements of a tight-end or receiver. They're saying what we're doing will change the game."

For Matterson, the fact he is kicking a ball at all is a minor miracle. A junior athletics champion, Matterson didn't play a game of football until he was 15. And it seemed the former Melbourne Storm centre/back-rower wouldn't play again after the hit-run incident.

The crash left him needing shoulder and knee reconstructions, yet he somehow pedalled the four kilometres to his home to call for help after the collision.

"I was basically told I'd never play football ever again due to the severity of the accident and the uniqueness of my injuries," Matterson said. "I always thought I could play again, even though doctors said I couldn't or that it wouldn't be wise to."

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