Newcomer Oscar Bradburn and Joey Slye Discuss Hokies' Special Teams

Virginia Tech's place kicker and punter on the offseason and spring practice.

[Michael Shroyer]

It's easy to look at Virginia Tech's roster and notice the only punter listed is a true freshman who played Australian rules football and find reason for concern. But hey, you haven't seen left-footed Oscar Bradburn punt yet.

"Go out to one of our practices you see the kid bombing the ball," said kicker Joey Slye on Bradburn's body of work thus far in Blacksburg. "He's as consistent as can be which in the kicking game, that's what you need to be, you need to be consistent. That's where your morals lie. So, with him being as consistent as he is right now, I don't think it's gonna be a problem going into game time."

Bradburn is a product of Melbourne's Prokick Australia, (and he's with good company, including North Carolina's Tom Sheldon, a 2016 Freshman All-American). But of course, the 19-year-old Aussie has a lot left to learn.

"It's a completely different sport," said Bradburn. "'Aussie Rules' is played on much larger oval and different ball type, heavier ball. It's made out of kangaroo leather actually, so that's a very domestic thing. But yeah, it's a vastly different sport. It's gonna take, I mean, in the position that I play I think that I'll be able to adapt quite easily to what my role is in the team, but as far as the rules between sports go, yeah, it's vastly different."

In fact, Slye noted Bradburn's first live work was a bit of an eye-opening experience.

"Yeah, so the Tuesday practice we were sitting there and he got done with his first kinda like true punting session and he looked at me like kinda bright eyed and I was like, 'what's wrong?', and he was like, 'that's the first time I've punted with people running at me.' And it just kinda made me laugh because I'm like, 'what the heck are you talking about?', and then realizing like holy crap, he'd never really had a rush he'd never had anything like that."

However, Bradburn's biggest struggles this spring may be in his assimilation to the American culture and the vast differences in vernacular.

"Uh, little PG-13, but he [Bradburn] asked a girl in class for a 'rubber', and in Australia that's an eraser," said Slye. "And, uh, the girl kinda looked at him like 'what are you talking about?' So, uh, I mean it's just stuff you gotta get used to."

The Hokies would be well served if Bradburn is as quick to learn on the field as off it.

"Definitely not a rubber anymore," said Bradburn. "Raised a few eyebrows when I said that. She just gave me a weird look like 'where does he get off asking something like that?' And I was like sorry, my bad."

For Slye, the senior's offseason is about developing as a team leader and building confidence, especially when it comes to longer field goal attempts. Last season the strong-legged Slye, who Frank Beamer once entrusted to attempt a 67-yard kick, was just 1-7 on kicks of 40-plus yards.

"I'll go out there and I'll hit balls all day and I can make from anywhere on the field that I feel like I can," said Slye. "So, just kinda, the stars haven't been aligned in some of those cases. I know I can make it. There's never a doubt of when I run out there it's never like 'oh why is coach sending me out here for this situation?'. And he's also had the confidence in me to do things like that so it's just kinda like, it's just gonna happen, and once it does, I feel like the floodgates will open and you'll see a lot more of them. But yeah, it's just kinda like breaking the dam right now."

Special teams coach James Shibest agrees with Slye on his ability to hit long field goals.

"He knows I'm upset, that we should make 'em, be a little more consistent," said Shibest. "We just got to get confident in getting it done. He hadn't missed by much. He's got plenty of leg. To me it's a confidence issue that we've got to overcome."

Away from the field, Slye is making strides in his ongoing effort to spread awareness and raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Slye is currently nominated for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's "Man of the Year" Award. He is fundraising from now until May 20th with every dollar being donating counting as a vote towards the award.

"The opportunity to fundraise and honor my brother and continue the legacy that he left behind is huge for me to do," said Slye.

Comments

great article. I'm so hyped to see this kid kick the piss outta the ball

I swear to drunk, I'm not God

"I'm oscar dot com"

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

"Don't worry coach, I don't need a three man shield. I can get my own protection." -- Bradburn

How this only has five legs is beyond me. I'm dying over here.

Beat me to it!

Well, he's no Welsh kicker, but is Lane going to do the "Ole oleole ole...Ole...Ole..." cheer or not?

"Jerod Evans had more moves on that run than Bayer has aspirin!"

-Mike Burnop, 9/24/2016

"Uh, little PG-13, but he [Bradburn] asked a girl in class for a 'rubber', and in Australia that's an eraser," said Slye. "And, uh, the girl kinda looked at him like 'what are you talking about?' So, uh, I mean it's just stuff you gotta get used to."

Well, I'm glad he didn't rubber the wrong way.

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad

Rubber?!

He barely knows her!

With that accent I am sure he is rolling in sorostitutes...

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
“I served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

Yea the Aussie, Brits, Irish and Scots I know don't even have to try to get American girls.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

it's always HIGHLY beneficial being the foreigner

Especially when you speak the same language just with an accent.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

the foreigner

Image result for foreigner band gif

"We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior" Stephen M.R. Covey

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” David Wilson

'Feels Like the First Time'
'Urgent'
'Cold as Ice'
'Waiting for a Girl Like You'
'Hot Blooded'
'Double Vision'
'I Want to Know What Love Is'

in one way or another these are all apt

"Dirty White Boy" may or may not apply as well...

"We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior" Stephen M.R. Covey

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” David Wilson

that one is daily nomenclature

Why didn't you include "Head Games"?

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.

Headknocker?

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

Speaking of tunes, I found it very surprising and awesome that he was kicking while Fleetwood Mac "Don't Stop" and "Rhiannon" were playing in background

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Agreed, that accent in a 5 makes girls a 7 or 8 at least. Only reason I can fathom why so many of you are obsessed with that harry potter chick *ducks*

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
“I served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

Glad he is a real Punter. Not the Australian Style punter.

What's
Important
Now

Might want to watch the end of that video... will be interesting to see how they use him.

“I turned down 12 other opportunities. You know what I mean?” - Fuente

Since he is in fact Australian isn't any way he kicks, "Australian style"?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

that's kinda like saying you're always eating Virginia Style barbecue if you're from Virginia, regardless of whether you're actually eating NC Style or some other style

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

Hopefully he's good at quickly reeling in bad snaps.

Hopefully, he'll get a better grasp of the game than Michigan's Aussie punter in that 2015 debacle vs. MSU

"That man was violating a city ordinance, and I was just doing my duty to enforce it." - Mike Curtis

"..because anytime you go upside a man's head, or a woman's, they have a tendency to blink their eyes.." - Deacon Jones