When Nick Rolovich fired off his latest “bat signal” at 6:40 a.m. Friday morning, announcing Washington State had secured its seventh commitment of the 2021 recruiting class, it begged the obvious question.
Who would be on a recruiting call with Rolovich, making a decision about their college future, at such an early hour?
By Friday afternoon, WSU fans had their answer.
It was 11:40 p.m. in Melbourne, Australia, when punter Nick Haberer informed Rolovich and the Washington State staff he’d decided to join the Cougars, becoming the third player to pledge in as many days and the fourth this week.
Haberer made a social-media announcement at 4 p.m. Pacific — and 9 a.m. on Saturday in his hometown of Melbourne — thanking Rolovich and special-teams coordinator Mike Ghobrial, along with John Smith and Natah Chapman, who trained Haberer at the renowned Prokick Australia facility.
By offering Haberer a full-ride scholarship, the Cougars are presuming the Australian will take over in 2021 for All-Pac-12 punter Oscar Draguicevich III, who’s entering his senior season this fall. Draguicevich is the only punter listed on WSU’s roster although redshirt junior walk-on Johan Zetterberg has split punting and kicking duties during his three seasons with the Cougars.
There isn’t much information available on Haberer, other than that he has a background in rugby and has spent years working with the coaches at Prokick Australia, a program that has produced 75 scholarship punters and kickers, 17 college All-Americans and five Ray Guy Award winners. Notable PKA products who won college football’s most prestigious punting award include former Texas punter Michael Dickson, now with the Seattle Seahawks, and former Utah punter Mitch Wishnowsky, now with the San Francisco 49ers.
According to a recent article in The Athletic, PKA estimates it has between “60-70 prospects on college rosters” at the moment.
Rolovich’s starting punter at the University of Hawaii, Stan Gaudion, is also a Melbourne native who trained with the PKA program.