Jarryd Hayne, one of the greatest Rugby League players in Australia, is going to take a shot at playing in the NFL.
Hayne has not only left his team, The Parramatta Eels (what a name!) he has also left the Australia squad for the Four Nations. He is going to the USA to start preparing for the next NFL season, understanding that it would be almost impossible to break into an NFL squad now with the season several weeks old. Hayne does have something of a safety net to fall back on, the Eels have told him he can come back anytime no matter what.
Hayne describes his move as such;
“For the past 24 months I’ve been thinking about having a crack in the NFL, and over the last 12 months I’ve been seriously considering it, Today I can officially announce that I will be heading to the United States to pursue an opportunity to play American football. I will be withdrawing from the Kangaroos Four Nations side immediately, and accepting a conditional release from the Eels to make the move overseas.”
If you are not familiar with the chap. this highlight video shows what an outstanding player Jarryd Hayne is.
Despite being one of the greatest at his sport, Hayne faces some tangible obstacles in transitioning to American Football. What many fans of both codes of Rugby are missing when they trash American Football verbally is the sheer size of the latter sport’s athletes. Hayne is a very athletic man, and super big compared to most of us puny humans, the thing is, he’s kinda small for many positions in American Football. Particularly defensive positions, which might suit him best.
He’s too short to be a Wide Receiver. He’s too tall to be a Running Back. His ball skills would be somewhat waster on defence, however he might make a terrific tackling Linebacker except he would be the second smallest ‘backer in the entire NFL. How about Tight End? Hayne is way too short for that position too.
For our money, Hayne would be best suited for Linebacker, and would make up for his relative lack of size with tackling skills that would be excellent in terms of talent level in the NFL. He might even be able to teach his prospective team-mates a thing or two about same, as Rugby League is all about the tackle.
Either way, it is a potentially exciting development, and we wish Hayne the best in his attempts.