MARTINSBURG – Australian native Josh Growden has found his home among the hills. By transferring to West Virginia, Growden is getting one last go around with American football – a move he said he could not be more happier with.
“I am very happy with my decision to keep going, and I am stoked to be here at such a cool place,” Growden said in an interview Tuesday.
Just weeks before the season opener, Growden — 6-foot-2, 190 pouonds — came to Morgantown as a graduate transfer from LSU where he played for three seasons. His move to WVU is an interesting one.
“It is pretty crazy because I was actually going to go back to Australia. I wasn’t going to do my fifth year at LSU I was going to go home and pursue things back there,” he explained.
After putting feelers out to return to footy in Australia.
The opportunity to transfer to WVU, Growden said, came up through his punting coaches in Australia.
“To be able be here and finish out a fifth year and have a senior night – my parents are going to be come over – and be the starting punter, is a pretty cool way to finish out my college career,” he added.
After a short break from football and testing the waters in Australia, Growden said it was not hard to get back into the swing of football at WVU.
“No I just think the whole new environment really helped and being the starter obviously that helps too,” he said. “But really just a new environment and being able to be bunched with really good teammates and coaches it wasn’t hard when I got back into it to be motivated.”
Growden came to the United States in May 2015 to Louisiana, a terrain much different than West Virginia.
“It’s cool. I am liking it so far,” he said of Morgantown. “I haven’t had a great deal of time to be able to go check it out, but what I’ve seen and been able to do has been pretty cool. I like how it is kinda hilly and stuff a bit different to Louisiana for sure.”
Although Growden has not had much time to explore Morgantown and the surrounding area, he has made time for volunteering and was named the community service player of the week for week one for putting in the most that week.
“He put in multiple hours, and again he has been a great asset too. He did a good job at LSU too he was always on social media for doing community service their too. He’s a great kid,” Brown said.
Growden described Brown’s emphasis on special teams “massive.”
“It is going to be our edge for a lot of games,” he said. “The turnover and blocked field goal really helped us out on the weekend so loving this environment with the coaches putting a lot of emphasis and the players buying in and giving it all their effort on special teams is really cool.”
Although Growden averaged 40.38 yards a kick on Saturday against JMU and had his longest punt at 60-yards, he said there is still work to do to keep improving.
“It could have been better. It could have kept rolling and kind of bounced up into one of our guys and a few needed to hit into the wind and stuff like that,” Growden said of his punts.
Coach Brown said Growden needs to work on keeping the ball in the air for a little longer when punting.