We got really excited the week before the season when punter Jonathan Hernandez was added to the USF roster. Then we got even more excited when we saw the Florida State transfer might end up being the opening night starter. And then we got positively giddy when we saw that Hernandez was six-foot-four and 241 pounds. For years, we’ve seen other teams with oversize punters and kickers, and we’ve coveted them. They’re fun! They’re jolly! Some of them lay some Richter scale hits on unsuspecting returners!
We immediately started calling the tight end-sized Hernandez “Large Adult Punter.” But where did that name come from? Let’s explore.
The nickname is based on the phrase “large adult son,” which is very popular on Twitter. I’m pretty sure the concept originated with Weird Twitter pioneer @dril, but it doesn’t look like he’s ever used the exact phrase.
i am taking my 34-year-old son into town to buy him his very first pair of clip-on suspenders and we are both very excited— wint (@dril) June 6, 2013
i have trained my two fat identical sons to sit outside of my office and protect my brain from mindfreaks by meditating intensely— wint (@dril) November 15, 2013
i would sooner die than relinquish ownership of my dale carnegie mousepad to either of my fat sons— wint (@dril) June 3, 2014
thinking of getting 1 of those Yes icons on my avatar so I can just point to it when people ask me if im strong enough to carry my adult son— wint (@dril) September 18, 2014
my big sons have made a mess of the garage again after being riled up by the good word of the Lord— wint (@dril) November 26, 2014
I think we can declare @dril the spiritual inventor of this idea. But the phrase “large adult son” didn’t come into consciousness until January 2015. A family picture, probably out of a Christmas card, of smarmy conservative pundit and occasional Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee with his wife and kids started circulating on the Internet. His two sons, dressed in the same shirt as him, are very large and well over 18 years old. So Twitter user @JuliusIrvington put two and two together for the first time.
my favorite thing in the world is that Mike Huckabee literally has large adult sons pic.twitter.com/aqhuwJ74Z3— Joe Bro Dude (@JuliusIrvington) January 13, 2015
You can go to this page to read more about the initial wave of “large adult son,” which is admittedly a hilarious set of words no matter what context they’re placed in. It especially peaked in May 2015 when Huckabee decided to try and run for President again (as you are probably aware, he did not succeed).
Since then, “large adult son” has split off into two distinct categories. There’s still the original use, for doughy, shiftless ne’er-do-well types, and general Weird Twitter-ness.
Al Davis is rolling in his crypt over his large adult son's dealings— Medical dummy memes (@RealTrillBill) August 26, 2016
Sorry I've been gone my large adult son Lonald drugged me and locked me in a storm drain he called the biscuit pit— jigsaw jimmy (@BradyUSA) September 2, 2016
Michael Bidwill looks too much like a large adult son to be hanging out with older politicians pic.twitter.com/qyrCMtXywc— Mike Tunison (@xmasape) September 12, 2016
At the same time, Sports Twitter has taken “large adult son” and applied it to any athlete it likes a lot, even if they aren’t particularly large.
my large adult son, kristaps porzingis— ☕netw3rk (@netw3rk) November 28, 2015
WENTZ MY LARGE ADULT SON I LOVE YOU— Spooky Ghost Chris (@ChipSwelly) September 11, 2016
The Large Adult Son has arrived. https://t.co/oOuXoKJ606— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) September 12, 2016
Phil Kessel is my large adult son— Cedric Witchards (@CedricRichards) September 21, 2016
Of course, there are variations. Penn State fans have rallied around 270-pound kicker Joey Julius. First he smoked Kent State kickoff returner Raekwon James in the opening game of the season. Then last week Minnesota assigned a blocker to beat him up every time he kicked off, which made folks mad. Eventually they went too far and put a cheap shot on him, leading to a targeting penalty and an ejection.
Minnesota took a shot at Penn State's large adult kicker. This cannot stand. https://t.co/IdTNx5yKoF— SB✯Nation CFB (@SBNationCFB) October 1, 2016
Here's Jalen Waters' cheap shot on Joey Julius, who had just kicked an obvious touchback. pic.twitter.com/q1G2T8vuJX— Roar Lions Roar (@RLRblog) October 1, 2016
And that brings us to Jonathan Hernandez, our sweet, beautiful Large Adult Punter.
Never, ever change, Jonathan. Keep bombing those punts and putting teams in terrible field position. And if you lay out a punt returner someday like Joey Julius did, we’re going to absolutely lose our minds.