Jonny Mullings & Iowa Hawkeyes

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Today we speak with OzPunt Punter Jonny Mullings who is about to run onto the big stage as the starting Putner for the IOWA Hawkeyes.

OzPunt: Jonny Mullings, what can we say, living your dreams in IOWA, it has been a long road with lots of ups and downs.  

Now there, is it your dream come true?

Yeah without doubt my dream has come true, and being back in Iowa makes it extra special. Going to high school here, and having watched the Hawkeyes play, to actually play for them is something I would have never expected and still hasn’t really sunk in. The recruiting journey was a long road, with a lot of ups and downs, but it feels great when you get what you have worked so hard for.

OzPunt: Have the guys on the team giving you a nickname yet?

There’s been a couple: Jonny Fosters, Aussie, but my favorite has to be ‘Slap shot’.

OzPunt: What was your first week like on the team, I see you get treated pretty well when on the football team?

The first week was pretty incredible, meeting all the players and coaching staff was a real thrill. We had all the introductions and had a day signing contracts and then got straight into camp. First day of camp was surreal, seeing all these superstar players for the first time who had recently won the orange bowl was something I’ll never forget. The first week was tough on the field, a lot of play systems to learn and adjustments to the way a college football team goes about its business on and off the field.

We get treated very well; we get everything we need, from food to clothing. I guess academics are pretty important to, so we get tutors whenever we need them, and contrary to popular belief they do not actually write our papers. The fan base in Iowa is huge, so support is always around, on and off the field, which is great when you’re a long way from home.

OzPunt: Does your team think you are Australian or English?

At first everyone thought I was Australian, but I’ve let people know that I’m English.

OzPunt: What is something that has made you say “Wow”?

Running out into Kinnick stadium is always incredible, we had a night game against Penn State, I remember just being blown away by the atmosphere. There is a big rivalry between us and Penn State and the fans were hyped up and made for an amazing evening. Running onto the field with your teammates in that kind of arena was one of those ‘Wow’ moments, it was made extra special when four F-16 jets flew over the stadium after the national anthem.

OzPunt: What is something that has made you say “Oh No”?

The biggest, ‘’Oh No’’ moment so far this year, was when our centre was knocked off his moped by a truck. Unbelievably a police car was right next to it, and caught it all on film. The clip is on YouTube (josh koeppel), and became national news. Amazingly Josh got straight up and was at practice the next day. 

OzPunt: Tell us about college life, do you get your own room?

College life is a great experience, but at times it is very hard to balance academics, Football and social activities. Throughout the week we have weight lifting at 6am, classes start at 8.30am, and run to around 1pm. We get lunch then head to the football complex for meetings at 2pm, practice for a few hours and have dinner together after practice at 7pm. It’s a long day, but enjoyable at the same time.

I’m living in a house with a few teammates; they are great guys and have helped me settle into Iowa City. One of them is a long snapper and the other is a wide receiver.

OzPunt: What about the food at College, can you eat whatever you want?  DO you get food as part of your scholarship?

We have diet plans; the strength and conditioning coaches try to monitor our diets as much as possible. You get food and given money for food as well, so we never go hungry. We also have unlimited supply of protein drinks and Gatorade so it makes putting on weight pretty easy. When we win, we get lobster and steak the day after the game, little things like that make all the hard work worthwhile.

OzPunt: When you play your first game, what positions do you see yourself playing?

When my first game comes around, I only see myself punting at this time.

OzPunt:  I had a young kid come to training and tell me that he wanted to play football so he can be the next Jonny Mullings and did I know him.  What would you say to this young guy and other future Jonny Mullings wannabes out there? 

The main advice I’d give is, just never give up. For me it was a long road to get where I am, lots of ups and downs, when it gets tough just sit back, refocus and go out and get the job done: Whether it be, sending out more film or fixing your technique. It’s also important to be sure that playing college football is something you really want to do, you have to be 100% focused and committed to making it, otherwise you won’t get there. 

 Big thanks to Cam and Ozpunt, without you guys I wouldn’t be living my dream.

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