The Kentucky Wildcats were fortunate this season to have the best punter in the entire country.
I can confidently say that Max Duffy played a part in winning at least a couple of games this year with his ability to flip the field, and even run for a first down.
There are a lot of things, though, that people don’t know about the First Team All-American.
For example, not many people realize that Duffy is 26 years old. Most people know he hails from Australia and played rugby, but they don’t know, or at least forget, how old he actually is.
Another more important thing we didn’t know about the Cats’ star punter was his struggle with head injuries late in the season.
Following his historic season, Duffy returned home to Australia. There, the Ray Guy Award winner spoke with Paddy Sweeney of 9 News Australia.
Life is pretty good for Max Duffy— Paddy Sweeney (@SweeneyPaddy9) January 8, 2020
He’s dominated American football and considered the best College punter after leading @UKFootball to multiple successes
His transformation from dumped @freodockers, to potential NFL hopeful ⬇️@Max__Duffy @ProkickAus @9NewsPerth 9️⃣ pic.twitter.com/WgnPtrHk0G
“I had a seizure in mid-December,” Duffy said. “Then had another concussion in practice in the lead up to the bowl game. Ended up with some vertigo symptoms and some chronic headaches.”
Duffy’s lighthearted nature would have never led us to believe he was struggling with much of anything. After all, he was extremely dominant in his role. But it just goes to show that we don’t always know what people, and especially players, are going through.
The good news is that Duffy has found at least a temporary solution for his concussion issues.
“I get about 20 needles in my head each Thursday and it does the job,” he said.
That sounds absolutely terrifying and painful, but sometimes, you just gotta do what ya gotta do.
Despite his struggles, Duffy appears to remain steadfast in his pursuit of one day playing, and, hopefully, coaching in the NFL. And he’s doing so by getting right back to work.
One thing he says he’s working on is getting more hangtime on his kicks. Of course, it didn’t matter to us because he kept the ball away from defenders and always placed it perfectly. However, Duffy realizes that he needs to keep the ball in the air longer to have a chance to play in the NFL.
Another cool thing Duffy says that he’s trying out is kicking left-footed. He’s naturally right-footed and kicked with his right foot every time he punted this year.
However, he wants to be able to have the versatility to move right or left and punt it on the run. That way, opposing defenses can’t overload one side or the other in an attempt to block the punt.
Duffy is an excellent college football player. He’s become a star for this Kentucky team. But what’s more impressive is his humility and work ethic.
Now, let’s just hope he can get back to being healthy and full strength before next season rolls around. We all love football, but Duffy’s health is what’s most important.