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Thanks to the International Date Line, the Miami Hurricanes got a jumpstart on Wednesday’s National Signing Day.
Louis Hedley, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound (and heavily tattooed) punter from Australia, became the day’s first player to sign his National Letter of Intent, doing so from his hometown of Mandurah, Australia.
Hedley is a junior college transfer out of the City College of San Francisco, where he kicked during the 2017 season (averaging 38.6 yards a punt), redshirted in 2018 and then verbally committed to play at Miami.
“It’s official!! I’m a cane,” Hedley posted on Twitter. “Thank you to everyone that has helped me get to this point. LETS GOO!!”
Hedley — who is 25 years old, according The Guardian, the student newspaper of CCSF — is the first signee for first-year ‘Canes head coach Manny Diaz. Diaz was hired by Miami on Dec. 30 and is inheriting a team that struggled in the punting department last season. The Hurricanes averaged just 38.3 yards a punt in 2018, which ranked the team at 115th out of 130 FBS programs.
Judging by the tape, Hedley — the top-rated junior college punter, according to 247Sports — might be able to immediately make an impact for the Hurricanes’ special teams in 2019.
Hedley displays an ability to punt like a traditional American football punter, or roll out and kick like players do in Australian rules football. He also might be a devastating presence on punt fakes.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.