Shanahan details his journey, from Galeic football to Georgia Tech football
Georgia Tech is an international brand and the Jackets' football staff tapped into Australia for the second time this decade with the commitment of ProKick Australia punter David Shanahan on Friday. A native of Ireland, Shanahan has been working in Melbourne with the ProKick company that has produced five Ray Guy Award winners, 17 All-Americans and over 75 punters on scholarship since it's inception in 2007.
Nebraska just landed punter Daniel Cerni on Monday who worked out with Shanahan.
The Jackets will use Shanahan to replace Pressley Harvin III who graduates after the 2020 season. Harvin III led the country in punts with 80 this past season nearly doubling the 2017 and 2018 punt totals for the team as Tech moved from the option to the NCAA-spread offense this past season.
The last time Tech dipped into Australia was for defensive lineman Adam Gotsis. Gotsis had an outstanding career on the Flats and after getting drafted in the second round in 2016 by the Denver Broncos where he has played the last four seasons.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
ON HOW THE OFFER FROM GEORGIA TECH CAME ABOUT: "So basically last Tuesday I had a zoom call with 4 of the coaches at Georgia Tech along with my 2 coaches at Prokick Australia, Nathan Chapman and John Smith," said Shanahan in an exclusive interview with JOL on Friday night.
Previously the Georgia Tech coaches had seen some of my film and had been communicating with Prokick Australia for a while. We had a really great about my whole story and talked a lot about what punting at Georgia Tech was going to be like. The Georgia Tech coaches were all fantastic and I feel like I'll fit in really well there.
I was ecstatic when my coach John Smith told me they offered me. It's a feeling I'll never forget."
HIS INTRODUCTION TO FOOTBALL: "Growing up in Ireland, I played Galeic Football and Rugby mainly. But I always had an interest in American football, I used to get up really early on Monday mornings so I could watch the NFL before school since I was about 10 years old, I never knew any of the rules but I just loved watching it. I never got a chance to play it just because there wasn't any American football played where I lived.
Gaelic football was probably my first love. Gaelic football is the national sport in Ireland, it's kind of like soccer mixed with Rugby is the best way I could describe it. Pretty much every kid in Ireland plays it when they're young. I always had a Gaelic football in my hands growing up. I was pretty decent at it and I started to take it seriously when I was about 13.
I played on representative teams and at that time my dream was to play Gaelic football for my county which is called Kerry. I played with my school and my local team and for Kerry underage teams through my teenage years. When I got to about 16 though I started to want a change of pace and to try something new."
FROM GALEIC FOOTBALL TO COLLEGE FOOTBALL: "At that time I was just discovering college football. Everything about college football enthralled me, the atmosphere around it, the passion, it was like nothing I'd seen before. Pretty quickly I just decided that I really wanted to be a part of it. At the time I had absolutely no idea as to how I was going to ever play college football. After watching it for a while I noticed that a lot of the punters were Australian and I guess you could say that's when the lightbulb went off in my head. I could be a punter!
I had literally been kicking my whole life just with a round ball instead of an American football. At the start when I was punting I really had no idea what I was doing. I would just go into a field and kick it as hard as I could without any emphasis on technique. I started watching YouTube videos of guys punting and how NFL punters trained just see how I could improve and I used to film myself kicking and compare it to the pro punters. I used to hit the gym a lot as well to try and get my legs as strong as possible."
THE DECISION TO MOVE TO AUSTRALIA: "I came across Prokick Australia first on Instagram one day and saw that these were the guys sending all Australians to college in the U.S. I guess I thought about It for a while and did a lot of research and came to the conclusion that if I was really going to do this and get a division one football scholarship that Prokick Australia were the best in the business and the guys to go with.
I contacted them last June, John Smith who is one of the coaches at Prokick was in Manchester at the time so he said he'd fly to Ireland to assess me to see if I had potential. After a couple of kicks with Johnny he told me he thought If I moved to Melbourne and trained with him, Nathan Chapman and the rest of the Prokick boys I could get a division one scholarship. So after talking it over with my parents, I made the 10,000 mile move from Ireland to Melbourne and it's the best decision I've ever made.
Meeting John Smith for the first time when he flew from Manchester to assess me was probably when it really hit home that I could get a scholarship. Prokick had sent over 200+ guys so I figured if he thought I was good enough then the whole thing legitimized in my own head that I had a chance to really do it. "
ENROLLMENT PLANS: "As of right now I think the plan is to hopefully enroll in January 2021."