Aussie punter commits to Hogs

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Monday, January 21, 2013
Sam Irwin-Hill committed to the Razorbacks and will have a chance to replace departed senior Dylan Breeding (pictured above).
Photo by William Moore
Sam Irwin-Hill committed to the Razorbacks and will have a chance to replace departed senior Dylan Breeding (pictured above).

— With Arkansas losing punter Dylan Breeding to graduation, the Hogs brought in Australian junior college punter Sam Irwin-Hill for an official visit this weekend. He liked what he saw and orally committed to the Razorbacks.

Irwin-Hill, 6-3, 215 pounds, who played at City College of San Francisco, had a 46.1-yard average on 44 punts with a long of 77 yards this season while also downing 15 inside the 15-yard line.

Irwin-Hill is from Bendigo, Australia, where he learned to kick at Pro Kick Australia, an academy that helps kickers with Division I potential find schools in the United States.

“I went to their facilities the other day, and I was really, really impressed with what I saw,” Irwin-Hill said of Arkansas. “The coaching staff and the players made me really welcomed. It was just amazing, and it was great to be around. Great program , great community. I can’t wait.”

Irwin-Hill said he told Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema and defensive line coach Charlie Partridge of his decision.

“They’re really happy for me and can’t wait for me to start kicking,” said Irwin-Hill, who said he expects to enroll at Arkansas in the summer.

Perhaps the most important thing for Irwin-Hill during his visit was connecting with the players.

“The fact that I could draw that instant connection between me, and the players I believe was the best part,” he said.

Arkansas also picked up a commitment from highly recruited offensive lineman Reeve Koehler, 6-3, 315, 5.2 seconds in the 40-yard dash, of Honolulu St. Louis High School, on Saturday.

The Hogs quit recruiting safety Khari Harding of Edmond (Okla.) Santa Fe last week to look at other defensive backs, including Oklahoma commitment and Tulsa Washington safety Dominique Alexander, who made an official visit to Fayetteville over the weekend. Receiver Jervenski Johnson of Amite, La., has also been taken off Arkansas’ commitment list.

The Hogs now have five junior college signees and eight commitments for the 2013 class.

Oral commitments are nonbinding.

Sports, Pages 19 on 01/21/2013