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The San Francisco 49ers Australian-born punter Mitch Wishnowsky, known as the "Boomin' Onion," has recorded an outstanding 2023 season.

Wishnowsky has notched a career-high 47.69 yards per punt, a longest punt of 67 yards (second-highest of his career) and only two touchbacks (tied for lowest in his career). Fifty percent of his punts have been downed inside the opponent's 20 yard line and he's recorded a 3.8 percent touchback rate.

"Mitch is huge," Shanahan said. "He's been really good."

Keep reading to learn more about Wishnowsky:

Glazing to Punting

Before his football career, Wishnowsky worked as a glazier, a glass installation specialist, in Perth, Australia. Around that time, Wishnowsky's friends began showing him NFL games. After a couple years, he decided to leave his job and move to Melbourne to join ProKick Australia, a training academy for aspiring punters.

"While Americans grow up wanting to throw the ball, we grow up trying to kick 60-yard goals," Wishnowsky said. "Sure, (American) techniques are slightly different (from Australian techniques), but the swing of your leg is pretty much the same. We have that muscle memory drilled into us from a young age."

Exceptional College Athlete

After Wishnowsky spent some time sharpening his punting skills in Australia, he took his talents overseas and started punting for Santa Barbara City College in 2014.

Wishnowsky later transferred to Utah where he played for three seasons and earned consensus All-American honors, as well as the Ray Guy Award, an honor that crowns the nation's best collegiate punter. He ranked second in the nation in punting average (47.7) and punts of 50-or-more yards (30), while also leading the nation in punts within the 10 yard line (17).

Wishnowsky was then drafted by the 49ers in the 4th round (110th overall) in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Franchise Record

The "Boomin' Onion" has penned his name in 49ers record books.

Wishnowsky ranks second in franchise history in yards per punt average (min. 100 punts) with a 45.2 average.

Becoming a Father

Wishnowsky is a proud girl-dad, and the birth of his daughter comes with a remarkable football story.

His wife, Maddie, gave birth to their first child, Bowie, the night before the 49ers Week 8 contest against the Chicago Bears. Head coach Kyle Shanahan described Maddie as a "trooper" and Wishnowsky as a "total mess" leading up to the birth of their daughter. The punter returned home for just a few hours of sleep before he boarded a private jet in San Jose around 2 a.m., which was eight hours before kickoff.

He successfully entered fatherhood and made it in time to join his teammates for the NFC matchup.

"It's all a bit of a blur," Wishnowsky said. "I don't remember too much from the game, but I was pretty ecstatic... I got to see Bowie be born and then I just sort of was a spectator, had a few holds and watched the boys win."

The game played out in Wishnowsky's favor, as he didn't have to punt for the entire contest, only serving as the holder on extra points and field goals. Following the game, Shanahan dedicated a game ball to Maddie for being "fearless."

Pro Bowl Punter

In his five years playing for San Francisco, Wishnowsky has received plenty of league-wide recognition.

Here's a list of the punter's awards and honors since 2019:

  • NFC Special Teams Player of the Week (Week 9, 2019)
  • NFC Special Teams Player of the Week (Week 2, 2021)
  • NFC Special Teams Player of the Month (September, 2021)
  • NFC Pro Bowl Alternate (2021)
  • NFC Special Teams Player of the Month (September, 2022)
  • NFC Pro Bowl Alternate (2022)
  • NFC Pro Bowl Alternate (2024)
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