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Here’s the story of Wade Lees, Maryland football’s 28-year-old Australian punter

This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

maryland football spring game practice Alexander Jonesi

Wade Lees’ bio on Maryland football’s official website reads:

An experienced Australian League Football player.

His story is much more complicated than that. When Lees committed to Maryland out of nowhere in December, there wasn’t much info available on him. That’s now changed.

The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun each profiled Lees on Thursday, and both are worth a read.

Lees was a promising Australian League Football player who was suspended from the league in 2012 when he unknowingly ordered a weight-loss supplement that contained a banned substance.

“It was, like, an innocent thing, that was obviously a mishap. But I try not to focus on that,” Lees told The Post.

Lees’ story is quite dissimilar to what you’ll hear even from poor American athletes. He dropped out of school when he was 17 and split his time between playing football and working construction.

Lees is a decade older than some of his teammates, and after spending last semester learning from fellow Australian Brad Craddock, then a senior kicker at Maryland, he is having a successful year. His teammates now call him “Godfather,” and he’s adjusting to a different game in America.

"Sitting on the sideline and watching your teammates go to what you would call battle, I feel hopeless because I want to be out there hitting guys, tackling, making plays," Lees told the Baltimore Sun. "All my job is kicking a ball. It was hard at the start. I've even said to Coach a few times, 'I want to make a tackle.' He said, 'You're not going anywhere.'"

Go read The Post and The Sun’s stories on him. They’re good.

In other news

Hey! Leave Stefon alone!

Lots of football players around the country are drinking pickle juice. Why is this happening? Gross.

Here’s our new football recruiting roundup. This first week, we’re focusing on the Georgia prospects Maryland’s chasing.

Maryland Madness is taking place on Oct. 14., and Maryland is hinting at a SportsCenter theme. Scott Van Pelt says he’s not hosting, though.

Maryland women’s soccer beat Illinois last night to end a five-game losing streak.

Maryland’s opponents just aren’t kicking to Will Likely.

Maryland’s doing some volunteering during its bye week: