Wisconsin football receives commitment from Australian punter

Share this article paywall-free.

Coach Luke Fickell and his staff once again looked overseas for a specialist.

Atticus Bertrams, who is affiliated with a program called Prokick Australia, announced his commitment to the University of Wisconsin football program Friday evening.

Southern California initially announced Bertrams as a signee for its 2022 class in December 2021, but he was not on the Trojans roster last season.

Jack Van Dyke and Gavin Meyers handled punting duties during UW’s spring practices, but the Badgers felt the need to address the position further. Fickell discussed that particular area first when asked about the biggest questions he had about the team coming out of spring ball after the program’s final session April 27.

People are also reading…

“I think today was a day for us to really kind of evaluate kicking,” Fickell said. I think that we wanted to see what kind of guys we had, what kind of guys can handle some pressure. I’m a little bit concerned. We got to figure some things out, probably in the punting situation.

“I know it’s a tougher time, but we don’t get outside nearly as much to see those guys have an opportunity to punt the ball and for us to return it as well. So I think that was, again, today was a big day for that. So I think first and foremost, would probably be, ‘OK, where are we at kicking-wise?’

Fickell and his staff have seen success with punters from Australia at Cincinnati. James Smith emerged to become a Ray Guy Award finalist, a second-team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America and third-team All-American by The Associated Press in 2018. 

Mason Fletcher, another Cincinnati punter, also was among the finalists for the 2022 Ray Guy Award on the way to third-team AP All-America honors last season.

Bertrams becomes the 15th scholarship transfer for UW since Fickell arrived in Madison. He joins Division II cornerback Nyzier Fourqurean as players with previous college experience who committed to the roster this month.