The answer to the question you have probably been asking since last year is yes: Arryn Siposs has dined at an Outback Steakhouse.

The Australian-born punter was actually the one sent inside to speak to the hostess of the Australian-themed restaurant the first time he went. He asked for a table for four. The hostess asked him if that was a proper accent he was speaking with. “Yes,” he told her, “I actually am from Australia.”

“She was, yeah, a bit stunned by it, but that’s OK,” Siposs said. “It was a good first experience, and actually there’s some quality steaks, as well.”

As for the authenticity…

“I’d never had Bloomin’ Onions in my life. I just want to put that out there that that does not exist, so everybody knows that now,” Siposs said. “Now, it is pretty good. I’ll give them that. But yeah, it’s definitely not an Australian thing.”

Regardless, Siposs said he’s eaten at Outback a few more times since. It has all been part of the 26-year-old Melbourne native’s adjustment to life in America. That has obviously included football — head coach Gus Malzahn said Auburn’s starting punter didn’t even fully understand the rules until about halfway through the 2018 season.

Now, he’s one of the reasons that the Tigers enter the 2019 season so confident in their specialists. So too is sophomore placekicker Anders Carlson. At this time last year, both players were heading into their first seasons as contributors in the SEC. Malzahn believes that year of experience will pay huge dividends.

“Both those guys we’re expecting to take the next step,” the head coach said. “Really, Carlson is a guy that I think he’s in really good position to take that next step. Arryn had an excellent year last year, and he’s really confident. You can just sense it. His ball placement is high. He’s a big weapon, so I think he’s set to have a really good year, too.”

Siposs has done more over the last year than just gain a firmer grasp of the rule book. The former Australian rules football pro already believes accuracy is one of his biggest strengths, but he has worked on pinning more of the 17 punts he landed inside the 20-yard line last season inside the 10 or 5 instead. He has also worked extensively with strength and conditioning coach Ryan Russell to add more power to his right leg, as he hopes to build on a 44.2-yard per attempt average that ranked 18th nationally in 2018.

“Last year coming in so late, I didn’t really get that opportunity to work throughout the summer and build that strength, whereas now I’ve got the 12 months under my belt,” said Siposs, who had to battle walk-on Aidan Marshall last fall and didn’t earn the starting role until Week 2. “The winter and the summer practices — that’s helped tremendously, so. My legs may not show it from a physical point of view, but I definitely feel a lot stronger in that area, which puts me in a good position to hopefully be more effective this year.”

Along with the physical, Siposs said he also spoke extensively with his coach from the Prokick Australia program that put him on Auburn’s radar, as well as countrymen and current NFL punters Cameron Johnston (Philadelphia Eagles), Mitch Wishnowsky (San Francisco 49ers) and Jordan Berry (Pittsburgh Steelers), to hone the mental aspect of his game. The junior even went and worked out with that trio in July.

“It helped me kind of just re-adjust a few things, knowing what I have to do to take the next step,” Siposs said. “And it certainly put me in a better position to, hopefully, be more effective this year. My game is always trying to change and keep getting better; there's no point being satisfied with what you did last year. You're going to have to do the same thing again, if not more.”

Carlson is another player Auburn is looking for to do more in Year 2. He had a strong first season replacing his record-setting older brother Daniel Carlson inside 50 yards, where he made 13 of 16 attempts, but struggled from beyond 50, where he missed 7 of 9.

The younger Carlson made a 58-yard field goal during Auburn’s first scrimmage on Aug. 8, and after it was over, Malzahn lined him up from 47 yards out on the right hash with the team lined up on either side of it. If he made it, it was a “we win the championship-type deal,” the head coach said. Miss it, and his teammates would have had to do up-towns.

“He drilled it right down the middle,” Malzahn said. “Just trying to put him in as many pressure situations, too, because the likelihood with our schedule, there will be a lot of games that have a chance to go down towards the end.”

That includes an Aug. 31 opener against Oregon in Arlington, Texas. And in case Auburn is looking for somewhere to eat a team meal that Friday night — there are 14 Outback Steakhouse locations within 40 miles of AT&T Stadium.

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