Rugby League Jarryd Hayne Signs With 49ers
Well, it looks like Jarryd Hayne is officially one step closer to making his transition between NRL and NFL a reality: the National Rugby League star has signed a deal with the San Francisco 49ers.
During NRL’s offseason, he announced his retirement from rugby in an attempt to make the NFL as a running back: the 6’2″ back fielded offers from the Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions, but ultimately decided to go with the San Francisco 49ers because of Jim Tomsula.
According to ESPN, Hayne did not see the 49ers as a legitimate contender until he met with Coach Tomsula, claiming “[Jim] was probably the one coach that knew the transition better than anyone.” After a $100,000 guarantee offer — which was not offered by the other parties — Jarryd jumped at the opportunity and now is officially fighting for a 2015 roster spot on San Francisco.
In the meantime, he has been training with former NFL receiver Tim Dwight to improve his odds of making the team: there are very few players who actually made the transition from one professional sport to another. His time with the longtime offensive journeyman-turned-coach will hopefully open up the opportunities for the NRL star – he needs to learn as many roles as possible to ensure a spot.
“He’s going to have to come in and play special teams. He’s going to have to learn how to rush the punt and then get back and block for a return,” Tim Dwight told ESPN. “He’s going to have to learn how to cover a punt, but that should be pretty instinctive to him. We were trying to look at what positions he would play on the field, either offensively or defensively.”
The back ran a 4.53 40-yard dash during his pro day: he left the NRL with 103 tries and over 400 points scored in his nine year career.