James Burnip: 3 things to know about the Alabama Crimson Tide football punter

Erik Hall
The Tuscaloosa News

James Burnip's first football game was the 2021 Alabama opener vs. the Miami Hurricanes on Sept. 4. He punted twice in that game for 62 yards. 

Coming from Australia, Burnip never played a game of football before taking the field with the Crimson Tide. Burnip learned to punt by training with Prokick Australia

"We don't play games or compete in a league...we don't have that here," Burnip said, according to Rivals. "But we train with the coaches and focus on perfecting our technique. Then we move into simulating a live punt and work on getting acclimated on what to expect once we get to the states."

Here's some basic information about James Burnip: 

  • Height: 6 feet, 6 inches
  • Weight: 216 pounds
  • Hometown: Mount Macedon, Victoria, Australia
  • High school:  Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia

Find out three more things to know about Alabama football punter James Burnip. 

James Burnip played Australian rules football growing up

Sep 4, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA;  Alabama punter James Burnip (86) punts against Miami at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Alabama defeated Miami 44-13. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports

James Burnip played Australian rules football in the Riddell District Football League for Macedon. He played in the league from 2011-19, according to the Riddell District Football/Netball League website. 

He started in the league playing for the Macedon Juniors in the Under 12 division in 2011 and 2012. His highest scoring season was when he scored 10 goals in 11 matches playing in the Under 14 division in 2015. 

He wrapped up playing in the league in July 2019, and at that point, he was playing in the Under 19.5 division. Also in July 2019, Burnip posted to Instagram about training with Prokick Australia that it was the "start of a new journey."

In August 2021, Alabama football coach Nick Saban jokingly said, "Well, we basically have him going over with the rugby team every day, so he can play rugby and feel more comfortable doing that since we’re so worried about him playing football. He’s doing really well with the rugby part of it, so we will see how that goes."

James Burnip loves Vegemite

Nov 13, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA;  Alabama punter James Burnip (86) punts against New Mexico State at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

South Florida punter Andrew Stokes, who trained with James Burnip with ProKick Australia, posed a question on Twitter on Nov. 10, 2021. He said, "Why are we out here eating toast with the spread facing up, when our tastebuds are on our tongue…. #FoodForThought." 

Burnip offered Stokes a solution. Burnip tweeted, "Mix the toast and spread in first bite, then they hit the tastebuds, best of both worlds." 

Stokes said, "Or just bypass the toast and eat the spread..?" 

Burnip liked the idea and encouraged eating Vegemite, an Australian food spread made from yeast extract with vegetable and spice additives.

"Vegemite straight out the jar is unmatched," Burnip said. 

"Only the strongest people will survive," Stokes said to close the conversation. 

James Burnip initially committed to Ole Miss football

Sep 18, 2021; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide punter James Burnip (86) against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

James Burnip was recruited by Ole Miss special teams coordinator Coleman Hutzler to Oxford, Mississippi. Burnip committed to Ole Miss on Jan. 26, 2021, as a member of the Class of 2022 with the intent to enroll in the spring of 2022. 

"Well, 'The Blind Side' was my introduction to Ole Miss," Burnip said to Rivals in January 2021. "But I check out coach (Lane) Kiffin's Twitter a lot, he's really funny."

Burnip then tweeted on June 13, 2021, that he would not be attending Ole Miss, and 93 minutes later, Burnip changed his commitment to Alabama to enroll in the fall of 2021.

"I am extremely excited and honored to announce that I am committed to THE University of Alabama!" Burnip tweeted. "To Coach Saban and Coach (Johnathan) Galante, I am extremely grateful and excited for this opportunity and am excited to get to work in the coming weeks!" 

Here's more James Burnip news: 

Click here for the James Burnip bio on the Alabama football website. 

Erik Hall is the lead digital producer for sports with the USA Today Network. You can find him on Twitter @HallErik