Calgary Stampeders punter goes from down under to the top of the CFL – Calgary

The historical past of Australians within the Canadian Soccer League is extra like a paragraph than a Greek epic, however Calgary Stampeders rookie Cody Grace is amongst a bunch of Aussies writing an especially promising new chapter.

Rising up in Perth, Grace’s sporting roots are in rugby and Aussie Guidelines.

Cody Grace honed his Aussie Guidelines expertise at Warwick Senior Excessive Faculty in Perth.

Courtesy Cody Grace

He tailored to punting within the NCAA with Arkansas State to assist pay for his education as a power and conditioning coach.

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However the name of the Friday night time lights was too highly effective to disregard.

Publish-graduation, the 26-year-old must adapt his sport for the third time when Calgary referred to as his identify on the 2021 CFL International Draft, which noticed 4 Australians chosen within the first spherical.

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Grace could have had the largest sneakers to fill, as he was referred to as on to interchange the just lately retired all-star Rob Maver whereas nonetheless studying the fundamentals of the Canadian sport.

“He’s higher than marketed, and we thought he was fairly good,” Stamps head coach Dave Dickenson mentioned.

“His directional punting has been glorious. His holding — he by no means actually held — it’s been glorious. (We’re) clearly lacking Maver, love Maver, however proper now, Cody is correct there with the tops within the league. He’s acquired nice grasp time. He’s acquired nice placement. He’s doing every little thing proper for our group.”

The location the group now raves about didn’t come simply.

Grace rapidly discovered punting within the CFL requires far more nuance than Aussie Guidelines or the NCAA, which primarily required him to kick as arduous and so far as doable.

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“You will have the power to regulate the sport much more as a punter the place the American sport is kind of simple,” Grace defined.

“It’s been eye-opener, particularly the final couple of video games, understanding how one can type of dictate discipline place and momentum of the sport when you execute the job.”

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On a group full of fiery personalities, Grace prefers to take care of his chill persona and name on a quiet killer intuition when it’s his flip to step up and ship a superbly positioned coffin nook punt.

Punters typically fly underneath the radar with regards to accolades, however 770 CHQR Stampeders play-by-play man Mark Stephen believes Grace is making a case for group Rookie of the 12 months.

“He’s the primary punter with regards to web yards, and he hasn’t kicked a single but this 12 months, which tells me he’s actually nailed that when he’s been requested to take action,” Stephen mentioned.

“He’s been an actual measure of stability within the league the place there’s been quite a lot of instability this 12 months on the punting place.”

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Whereas he’s at present making a residing on particular groups, Grace believes there’s an Australasian goldmine of expertise in any respect positions that the CFL is simply beginning to crack.

“I believe now they’re beginning to transition to really see there are strong athletes that may play different positions as effectively, which is cool,” Grace mentioned.

“Within the NFL, we see offensive linemen and defensive linemen achieve success, and there are some names on the market that individuals haven’t heard taking part in good faculty soccer down in Australia, New Zealand. There’s quite a lot of guys down there that simply don’t know easy methods to stand up right here and get into the system.”

If he retains these numbers up, Grace’s largest problem may simply be surviving his first Canadian winter.

© 2021 International Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc.

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