Kentucky football fans all know what a cherished commodity it was to have punter Max Duffy the past three seasons, but it was a bit of a head-scratcher why NFL teams passed him by on the 2021 Draft Day.
For the 28-year-old from Australia that could have come as a blessing allowing him to work out for a variety of teams. That wait was short-lived as he has reportedly been signed by the Denver Broncos.
Booting balls around the Mile High City shouldn’t be an issue for Duffy despite the thin air.
Max Duffy’s kicks all left us cheering in the Bluegrass
While he can certainly boom them with hang times, his kicks are more long floating line drives that have return men running backward just trying to chase them down. Who needs hangtime when most of his kicks are inside the 10-yard line anyway.
Oftentimes he was the Wildcat’s best offensive threat when things bogged down and Duffy got us out of many a deep hole with jaw-dropping kicks and drawing deafening cheers when he rolled out from taking the snap and waiting for the defense to chase him down buying time before outkicking the defenders downfield.
He set the school’s all-time mark of 46.0 yards per boot. In 2019, Duffy won the Ray Guy Award given to the nation’s top punter after averaging an impressive 48.1 yards per punt.
When he came to Lexington in 2018 he was little known except Down Under playing Australian Rules Football, but he was mature and stepped right into a leadership role eventually being a team captain this past year. Well except that coaches had to teach him how to put on all his pads.
The accolades, awards, and highlight reels are far too numerous to rattle off, but suffice to say #93 was a Big Blue Nation favorite after learning how to get all that gear on.
However, the three words that Duffy said best describe him are authentic, honest, and driven then it’s easy to see why he was such a success in the Bluegrass.
He was AP All-American and made the Dean’s List at Kentucky where he graduated with a degree in Psychology and just this month graduated with a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology and Health Promotion.
Duffy wore the number 93 because that is the year he was born. In Denver, that number hasn’t drawn a lot of eyeballs over the years and was worn last season by Dre’Mont Jones in his third year.
Sam Martin signed a three-year deal in 2020 but was just middle of the road in numbers against his fellow punters ranking 13th in average yards. He spent eight years in Detroit before that. No spot is guaranteed in the NFL especially in the kicking game and he took all his guaranteed money in his first year.
If Duffy kicks his way into the starting role that could help the Broncos in both salary cap $2.3 million and maybe better yards averaged. Denver carried just one kicker on their roster last season.
Will Duffy, who grew up kicking in Perth before going to Lexington now find a new home in Denver? That we will have to wait to fall camp to find out.
Oh, and I’ll leave you with a little video courtesy of Duffy’s Twitter from his early kicking days. If this doesn’t bring a smile to your face I’m not sure what will.
Good luck Max, Big Blue Nation always will love and never forgets its players and we hope to see you kicking a tad bit further this fall.