FORMER Collingwood rookie Flynn Appleby will be the next ex-AFL player to try his hand punting in the United States, accepting a college scholarship offer from Big 10 school Rutgers this week.

Appleby played 11 games for the Pies before being delisted at the end of the 2020 season, but will join a collection of former footballers to graduate through the ProKick Australia system and find his place at an American college.

Last season, there were 56 Australian punters in the American college football system including ex-AFL players such as Richmond's Ben Griffiths (USC) and the sons of Essendon great Dustin Fletcher – Mason (Cincinnati) and Max (Arkansas).

Flynn Appleby handballs in Collingwood's clash with North Melbourne in round eight, 2020. Picture: Getty Images

There are currently two ex-AFL players who have also graduated to NFL rosters, including former St Kilda player Arryn Siposs (Philadelphia Eagles) and ex-Melbourne rookie Cameron Johnston (Houston Texans).

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Appleby will play for Rutgers next season, a Division 1 school based in New Jersey that went 5-8 last season and lost the Gator Bowl to Wake Forest. They are slated to face fellow Big 10 powerhouses Ohio State at its 104,000-seat stadium later this year.

The 23-year-old was recruited as a rookie by Collingwood in 2017 and spent three seasons on the club's list, playing nine games in a fruitful debut campaign and making 11 total appearances overall.

Appleby spent last season – his first out of the AFL system – as North Melbourne’s reserves captain, where he was named in the 2021 VFL Team of the Year.