Brett Thorson spent 19 years on a dairy farm two hours east of Melbourne, Australia.
During those formative years, before moving to Melbourne to join the famous Pro Kick Australia program, Thorson usually woke up at 6 a.m. to milk cows and share time with his parents and siblings on a tractor that Picked up hay.
The cows had to be milked again at the end of the working day.
In between farm chores, Thorson, his older brother, and younger sister provided entertainment.
“We were just always outside,” said Thorson. “We didn’t have video games or anything when we were young, so we were always outside. When you are on a dairy farm, you can’t just go to the stores or to the movies. You just go outside and grab a ball, whether it’s a basketball or an Australian soccer ball, or you go back and play tennis. Whatever sport it was, that was our form of entertainment to keep us busy. “
It was in this environment that Thorson developed a passion for sport. He played Australian football for years before taking an interest in American football.
He’d heard from fellow Australians Jordan Perry of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Michael Dixon of the Seattle Seahawks, and Cam Johnson of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Thorson was not sure of their way. He researched and found that the trio of star players had gone through the Pro Kick Australia program to hit college football and then the NFL.
Thorson joined the program and after only 12 months of punting, Thorson recently signed up to play for UGA on a full scholarship.
It wasn’t as easy as he had imagined.
Thorson said there have been times of frustration learning the basics of an American football jump.
The COVID-19 pandemic made Thorson’s training even more difficult by forcing him to study virtually for many of the program’s first few months.
However, the pandemic lockdowns allowed Thorson to watch the US Games for some insight in addition to the training he received from John A. Smith and Nathan Chapman.
“It helped because I’ve had a lot of time to watch movies and games since they were on, but it was frustrating because you spend a lot of time outside of your people trying to learn yourself and you send them a movie and get Feedback on that, so it’s not the same as being personal. You get frustrated very early on. You wish you were good at it right away. It is not so easy. It takes some practice and hard work. “
UGA coach Todd Hartley starred in Thorson’s recruitment.
Thorson had not been assigned to a recruiting service until recently, which is why he is responsible for Pro Kick Australia’s successful reputation for sending his film to college coaches in the United States.
“That’s why I’m in the position I am in now to get an offer because these guys did so well,” said Thorson. “If they don’t do that well, I might not get a look at it as it doesn’t have the reputation Pro Kick Australia has right now. I am very grateful for you. Hopefully this will create a lot more avenues for people like me in the future. “
Hartley reached out to Thorson after receiving a film. Thorson felt that the Bulldogs liked his work ethic and leg strength.
Thorson was grateful for the Bulldogs offer and did some research on the school and program.
Hartley gave Thorson a picture of what life in Athens would be like as good as possible, and Thorson read up on UGA football history.
It was enough to convince him.
“I know as much as you can find out through the Internet and word of mouth,” Thorson said. “Coach Hartley gave me a lot of insight into what it’s like to be in Athens. You don’t have to look too far on the internet to see how great a Georgia is and how historic the football program is. These were all positive aspects that made it an easy choice. “
Thorson plans to visit campus in October and enroll in January.
Reigning punter Jake Camarda is a senior in 2021 and Thorson could count early in his college career.
“The past few days have been unreal,” said Thorson. “The first day before the announcement was just exciting. You can finally say it and let it out, so to speak. You don’t hold onto it anymore. I’ve been excited all day. I was blown away with the support from the Georgia fan base and everyone there. The phone went crazy all day … From what I’ve heard, it’s very different. All the guys at Pro Kick Australia and everyone I’ve ever spoken to about America to say you are going to love it. I look forward to the college lifestyle in terms of what you see in the movies, how life in America goes to dorms and the big classrooms. I look forward to living this and seeing the hype surrounding college football. I know the SEC is as big as possible, so that’s exciting. “