Bendigo's Jack Bouwmeester is a Michigan State Spartan.
Bouwmeester confirmed on social media on Monday that he had accepted a four-year football scholarship with the high-profile college in the United States.
Bouwmeester will be a punter for the Spartans next season.
Committed to MICHIGAN STATE! Major thanks to both Nathan Chapman and @JohnnyPKA from @ProkickAus for getting me to this point, and @DantonioMark and @Shaynegraham17 for providing me with the opportunity of a lifetime, Can’t wait to get to work #V4MSU#GoGreen ⚔️🔋 pic.twitter.com/5mTD8BBBUO— Jack Bouwmeester (@jackxbouwie) October 29, 2018
Bouwmeester represented Victoria in under-age cricket as an opening bowler, played senior footy with Sandhurst in the BFNL and was part of the Bendigo Pioneers squad at TAC Cup level.
He played first XI cricket in the BDCA with Bendigo United and Premier Cricket with Carlton at second XI level before deciding to turn his attention to American football.
Bouwmeester signed with ProKick Australia - the company owned by former Kangaroo Flat, Brisbane Bears/Lions and Hawthorn footballer Nathan Chapman.
ProKick Australia and Chapman also helped fellow Bendigo footballer turned punter Sam Irwin-Hill to gain a college scholarship in the United States.
After seven months of hard work with ProKick Australia, Bouwmeester's booming right boot caught the attention of Michigan State scouts.
"Jack came to us with some raw talent and then we pieced together everything that he had and combined it with training to ensure he was kicking higher rather than longer,'' Chapman said on Monday.
"We taught him the nuances of American football and built him so that he can perform.
"He could kick and was talented enough, but it's not until you're asked to do something with a different shaped ball and then be told to do it eight of out 10 times, that you find out where it's really at.
"He worked really hard... and he presented well and we were able to put him in the right spot so they (Michigan State) would offer him (a scholarship)."
Bouwmeester and his parents toured Michigan State University in East Lansing - a 90-minute drive east of Detroit - over the weekend and signed the paperwork on Monday (AEDT).
The Spartans play in the powerful Big 10 conference and this season they have a 5-3 record with four matches remaining.
Michigan State home games attract crowds of up to 75,000 people at Spartan Stadium.
"You have to have the talent, but you also have to have good character,'' Chapman said.
"It's not going to be easy. He'll be playing in front of between 70,000 to 100,000 people every week for the next four years.
"He's not playing footy in the country anymore. He needs to come at that with a professional attitude towards his school work and his training."
Bouwmeester will start school at Michigan State in the new year, but won’t play any games with the Spartans until the 2019 season opens in September.