Thursday, December 26, 2013

An NFL Team (Detroit Lions) Finally Signs Carlin Isles--the Fastest Man in Rugby

It is rare when I can say "I told you so," but months ago I said that a team needed to snatch up rugby sensation Carlin Isles and make him a return man as soon as possible with the possibility of grooming him for some wide receiver time down the line.

Well--the power brokers in the NFL waited till the last week of the regular season, but it appears that one of them finally listened to me.

It could very well be the final move that Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz does for the team, but it could be a valuable one. The team has signed rugby player Carlin Isles to the practice squad.

Most people upon hearing about this will simply say "who?" 

He is just the budding star of the USA Men's Sevens Team, a version of rugby where only seven people are on the field for each team rather than 15. What's the difference? To play it you have to at least be in incredible physical shape; to be really good it helps to be fast as hell too.

In Isles case that would be check and check.

Skeptics will scoff and say his talents will not transfer to football, but they could not be more wrong. Rugby players are typically in much better shape than football players; the way the game is played demands it. Contact will not be an issues since rugby players take just as many as football players, but without pads. 

That's why the Indianapolis Colts signed a linebacker this season and turned him into a linebacker. That's why the Jets turned another rugby player into a tight end. In fact, Isles was scheduled to work out for the Colts on Friday and the Giants in January.

The Lions liked what they saw so much that they didn't want him to leave the building after his workout without signing.

So what's the big deal about this guy? Watch him do his thing (by clicking here and here) and you'll agree that he is talent waiting to be discovered.

Oh--and he even though he now has an NFL contract he is going to continue playing rugby. For most guys pulling double duty like this would be crazy, but for a rugby player it's just any other day.

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