Sports | August 20, 2019 12:48 pm

See Australian-Rules Footballer Mitch Wishnowsky Hit in the NFL

Wishnowsky leveled Denver return man Devontae Jackson in the open field

See Australian-Rules Footballer Mitch Wishnowsky Hit in NFL
Punter Mitch Wishnowsky tackles running back Devontae Jackson. (Dustin Bradford/Getty)
Getty Images

The only thing most NFL kickers want to hit is the football. At 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, Mitch Wishnowsky is not most NFL kickers.

A native of western Australia who grew up playing Australian-rules football, Wishnowsky was drafted in the fourth round out of the University of Utah by the San Francisco 49ers in April.

A kickoff specialist who also can handle punt duties, the rookie won the prestigious Ray Guy Award, which is presented to the best punter in college football, during his NCAA career.

Regardless a fourth-round pick seems like a high price to pay for a kicker — until you consider that Wishnowsky also doubles as a tackler.

That was evident when Wishnowsky kicked off with five minutes left in the third quarter of Monday’s preseason game against the Broncos and then ran down the field and leveled Denver return man Devontae Jackson in the open field.

In a tweet, the 49ers requested Wishnowsky’s tackle rating of 36 be upgraded in the newest Madden game. 

Never one to keep his opinion to himself, former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee also weighed in on Wishnowsky laying the wood. “This dude just blew somebody up inside the damn 25 … ” he wrote on Twitter. “Deciding to commit to covering a kick is a pretty savage decision I think. I used to wait back, let the traffic clear.. he dove right the f*ck in. So much respect. Outstanding stuff.”

On the field, Wishnowsky received congratulations and high-fives from his teammates. “I hang back and then if there’s a gap to fill I’ll just run in there,” Wishnowsky said after the game, via the San Francisco Chronicle.

In addition to the big hit, it was a good night kicking the football for the 27-year-old as he averaged 48 yards on his six punts during San Francisco’s 24-15 win over Denver. 

It was a far better night than his teammate Jimmy Garoppolo had.

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