Australian schoolboy to college football prospect: Thomas Yassmin joins Utah

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    Australian schoolboys sensation and Club Roar alumni Thomas Yassmin is set to make the switch to American football after being scouted by the University of Utah.

    Yassmin, who played for Sydney’s Scots College, was one of the standouts in last year’s GPS competition.

    The 18-year-old has never played a game of American football in his life.

    His American football inexperience didn’t seem to alarm scouts from the University of Utah with defensive line coach Lewis Powell commenting on his raw athleticism.

    “Somebody running that fast and tackling – being that physical at that size is the reason why we’re bringing him into the squad,” Powell said.

    Yassmin is likely to get his first run for the ‘Utes’ at tight end after dominating on the wing for Scots’ 1st XV in 2017.

    Powell has attested Yassmin will try different positions across the field.

    “We’ll try him out at different spots. Wherever he fits in best we’ll put him in there. He for sure has all the ability – he’s tough, he can run, he can tackle.”

    Standing at 195cm and weighing 110kg, Yassmin will have to learn as he goes in one of the toughest sports in the world.

    The opportunity to play college football in Pac-12 wasn’t the only lure for Yassmin who is looking to hit the books as well, praising their business and math department.

    Yassmin has stated he is preparing to learn the playbook and jargon of American football.

    “They bloody name plays after combinations of fruits and colours”, he told Fox Sports.

    “It’s learning that, then also if they call an audible, knowing what the audible is. Hearing it, seeing it. I think that’s gonna be the hardest bit.”

    Utah weren’t alone in pursuing the winger-come-tight end with the University of Hawaii initially scouting him after the 2016 Sydney Cup against California while Oregon, Washington and Chip Kelly’s UCLA also expressed interest.

    He certainly isn’t the first to convert from the rugby codes to American football. Fellow Scots alumni and 1981 Australian Schoolboys player Colin Scotts was scouted by Hawaii before graduating to the NFL with the St. Louis Cardinals at defensive end.

    Jarryd Hayne is the most recent rugby player to make the switch to the NFL after infamously leaving the NRL to pursue his dream with the San Francisco 49ers, cut after playing only eight games.

    Utah has the second highest draft rate in the NFL. Notable Utah alumni include Hall of Fame member Larry Wilson, Pro Bowl tight end Bob Trumpy, former Panthers and Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. and current Chiefs starting quarterback Alex Smith.

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    The Crowd Says (7)

    • Roar Rookie

      February 7th 2018 @ 3:28pm
      Paul D said | February 7th 2018 @ 3:28pm | ! Report

      I think I recall seeing him in the NSW schools side and thinking good grief he’s a huge human with speed. Shame to lose him to the NFL, but best of luck to the kid.

      • Roar Rookie

        February 7th 2018 @ 3:43pm
        piru said | February 7th 2018 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

        He’s only got a college scholarship so far, a couple of WA boys have just snagged one as well.

        Not a bad proposition for a kid that age, free college education, live in the USA and play high level sport at the same time. I’m actually surprised we don’t lose more kids for the college years

    • February 7th 2018 @ 3:55pm
      Johnno said | February 7th 2018 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

      Bad move, he should be going down the safe path via NRL u-20’s comps/and Super rugby etc. He’s taking big risks and being a risk taker and it might fail

      • Roar Rookie

        February 7th 2018 @ 7:05pm
        piru said | February 7th 2018 @ 7:05pm | ! Report

        What 18 year old worth his salt isn’t a risk taker?

    • February 7th 2018 @ 9:40pm
      Malo said | February 7th 2018 @ 9:40pm | ! Report

      Today’s rugby pathway. Go to Scots then get an agent and pick up a Waratah contract and play for the wallabies. Nice and simple

      • February 8th 2018 @ 12:16pm
        Train Without A Station said | February 8th 2018 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

        Which waratah other than kellaway went to Scots?

    • February 8th 2018 @ 1:23am
      armchair sportsfan said | February 8th 2018 @ 1:23am | ! Report

      As with nearly all ‘Schoolboy sensations’…the test will come when they’re no longer the biggest/fastest bloke on the park…..

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