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Meet College Football’s Rare 29-Year-Old True Freshman
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

College football players come in all shapes and sizes. No one player is exactly the same, which makes the game even more interesting. However, Oklahoma State freshman punter Tom Hutton is truly in a league of its own because of his age.

Hutton is a 6-foot-3, 195-pound punter from Newborough, Victoria, Australia. He was a three-star prospect, according to 247Sports, and was one of the Cowboy football’s first commitments in the 2019 class. All of that seems relatively normal on the surface until everyone learns he’s a 29-year-old college freshman.

You read that correctly. There’s a 29-year-old true freshman in NCAA college football right now, and he’s the starting punter for Oklahoma State Football in the Big 12 this season.

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Tom Hutton Oklahoma State

A man amongst boys would be quite the understatement. There’s been a few older players in college football history — Florida State’s Chris Weinke immediately comes to mind — but very rarely will you ever see turn 30 before their sophomore season.

Tom Hutton is also a rare talent.

Hutton attended high school at ProKick Australia, which has helped produce several Ray Guy Award winners over the years. He also played Australian-rules football with Yallourn-Yallourn North in the Mid Gippsland Football League, scoring 27 goals in 2017 and 40 goals in 2015.

Needless to say, Hutton has a big leg and professional experience, but that’s only part of what makes the Aussie punter’s story unique.

Hutton spent five years working in a paper mill. He’s married. Yet, him and his wife were at fall camp and still getting bed checks by OSU head coach Mike Gundy and his staff.

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“I think he’s doing well. He’s married. His wife’s here. She said that bed check was kind of weird the other day. I said ‘We probably don’t need to bed check Tom anymore.’ He’s 29. He worked five years in a paper mill, 10 hours per day, so he somewhat understands going to bed at night. But he’s doing really well. Very unique person. Lot of fun to be around. I think that he’s glad that he’s here.”

— OSU Coach Mike Gundy

A move from Australia to Stillwater, Oklahoma is an adjustment by itself. Just imagine trying to fit in with kids over a decade younger.

The Oklahoma State Cowboys still have a lot of season ahead at Boone Pickens Stadium, first and foremost, but it’s going to be hard to ignore 29-year-old Australian punter Tom Hutton, who has averaged over 39 yards in six punts this season.

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After all, there are some NFL running backs who have retired before OSU football’s newest specialist has played in an American football game.

This updated post was originally published on August 8, 2019.

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Author placeholder image About the author:
With over 10 years of sports writing experience, Brett has covered some of the top local, regional, and national sporting events in the Heartland for both print and digital platforms. He is a graduate of Kansas State University and resides in Austin, Texas.
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