SDSU's Hunter Dustman, a Jack of all Trades
"You are starting at punter and as the starting kicker, how difficult is that?" Hunter Dustman was asked.
"Well, I think it just goes to show how many people don't do it in Division I. So, I'll leave it at that." Dustman responded with a grin.
Raised in East Bethel, Minnesota, Hunter Dustman's first love was soccer. By 7th he grade was already a part of the varsity team at St. Francis High School and that same year he was also asked to kick for the varsity football team.
"I'd take the kick and then I'd just run straight to the sideline, they wouldn't let me out there. So, I'd just take the kickoff and then run to my head coach,” Dustman said with a laugh.
Soon after Dustman's passion began to shift. He decided to solely focus on football and began training with kicking coach Chris Husby to hone in on his mechanics.
"Once I gave up soccer it was all football. So, I changed my swing, and technique, and habits and everything. So, all my credit for football and where I'm at is him," Dustman expressed.
With a career long 51-yard field goal and a 72-yard punt, his recruitment at both positions was beginning to pick up. But Dustman wasn't interested in choosing one or the other.
"Coach Stig, he sat me down after I came and he tried me out basically, or I worked out for him and he was like what do you want to do? And I was like I want to do them both. I was like I'm going to do both in college; I don't care where I go, that's my goal. He was just like okay, then come here. I'll give you the opportunity to do both," Dustman said of the former SDSU Head Coach.
"Did anyone else tell you that?" Dustman was asked.
"No," Dustman responded.
As a sophomore In 2021, Dustman would become the starting punter at SDSU. And a season ago he would take on double duty as the teams starting kicker as well; a year that included a game winning kick against NDSU and Northern Iowa.
"Every punter and kicker is different and you kind of have to learn what they do. It sounds weird, but it's a lot like golf, every golfer has a different swing. And so, you have to get used to what that guy does," SDSU Special Teams Coordinator Pat Cashmore stated.
Cashmore is in charge of the special teams unit as a whole, but interestingly enough, when it comes to just technique, Dustman is kind of his own coach.“A lot of it is just me breaking down my own film and then watching it and then just giving him feedback and then he’ll be like oh yea I agree or I saw that,” Dustman said.“It’s a dialogue. Yea, there are things that he’ll tell me to watch and then I can be really be ultra focused on those things,” Cashmore spoke.Through four games this season Dustman has only attempted two field goals, but is 24 of 25 on extra points, has three punts inside the 20 and has eight touchbacks on kickoff.“I’ve never worked with a guy who does all three: punting kicking and kickoff. He’s a true professional at what he does, great leader in the specialist room, definitely a guy I look up to,” SDSU Sophomore Long Snapper Kaydon Olivia said of his teammate.SDSU is back in action this Saturday on the road against Illinois State.