After 4-star lineman Richard Merritt announced his decision to play for Maryland earlier in the day, the Terps received a second commitment on Friday, this time from Australian kicker Wade Lees, a 27-year old punter who is hoping to revive his career in the United States.
Brad Craddock, Maryland's most famous Aussie kicker, welcomed Wade after his announcement:
Wade is certainly an interest commitment for Maryland. He received an 18-month ban from the Australian Football League (AFL) for purchasing, but never taking, a fat-burning product that contained trace amounts of a banned steroid in 2012. Lees gives a detailed explanation in the video below about why he purchased the substance and his journey since being handed the ban:
After his ban, Lees was unable to revive his career and decided to take part in Nathan Chapman's ProKick Australia, which helps Australian kickers train to become kickers and punters in the U.S. at the collegiate or NFL level. There is a lot of great additional information about Lees and ProKick Australia in this article by TheAge Lees appears to be a very talented punter and will certainly bring a lot of experience and maturity coming onto a college campus as a 27-year-old student.
In the video below, you can see Lees' punting ability. it's hard to tell from the angle, but it appears Lees boots this ball somewhere between 40-50 yards and has a hang time of about 4.5 seconds. If he could do that consistently for Maryland, that would certainly be a benefit for the Terps' special teams play.
Lees doesn't appear to have a ranking on any of the major recruiting services. He would be the 19th player in Maryland's 2016 class, which currently ranks 31st nationally in the 247 composite. His addition could mean that Maryland has two scholarship punters on their roster next season.