Jamie Gillan, also known as the “Scottish Hammer” and son of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 1 Squadron Leader Colin Gillan, Royal Air Force, has signed with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns.
Jamie, a native of Scotland and a Leonardtown High School graduate, is the Brown’s new prospective kicker. He moved to Southern Maryland with his family when his father, a member of the Royal Air Force, took orders to Naval Air Systems Command in 2013, and now serves as the P-8A Poseidon Deputy Operational Test Director.
“I was a little concerned about leaving one of the top schools in Scotland and potentially a high level of rugby,” said Jamie. “I decided to seize the opportunity to live in the USA, and to be with my family.”
Jamie started out playing on rugby teams in Scotland and added soccer to his repertoire in high school. After moving to Maryland, he attended an American football game and took note of the similar ball shape to that of a rugby ball. He saw a field goal kicker perform and quickly volunteered for the position, which soon had him playing in all-star contests and earning his infamous nickname.
“It was entertaining getting to watch him play in high school,” said Colin. “He really had no idea what to do, so he was thrown in the deep end and got knocked down a few times, but he adapted quickly.”
Colin believes being raised in a military family has helped teach Jamie to seize the best opportunities and to make the most of his time where ever he is.
“For Jamie, rugby was generally the ice-breaker for making new friends,” said Colin. “By the time he reached University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, he had attended seven schools in Scotland, England and the USA. Both my children are very good at being forward-leaning when it comes to making friends and grabbing opportunities to socialize, because they have to adapt to military life.”
“If my dad hadn’t taken that job, I would never have gotten here,” said Jamie. “They pushed me to get good grades and work on myself. There are so many people that have such roles and I had the easiest one, just kick the ball.”
Jamie was selected for a full scholarship at Arkansas-Pine Bluff where he set records and improved his skills. Jamie then took the opportunity to travel to a scouting camp, where he was able to show off his namesake “Scottish Hammer” talents. Now Jamie has been signed by the Cleveland Browns, and the official kicker and punter positions will be announced in the upcoming weeks.
Colin says he is happy to have Jamie a little closer to their home in Maryland.
“We’ll be heading to Ohio,” said Colin. “The journey is far less arduous than Arkansas-Pine Bluff.”