Rugby player says invitation to Colts camp “came as a shock”


Daniel Adongo is still finding it a little hard to believe that he’s at an NFL training camp right now, signed by the Colts as an outside linebacker, even though he has played no American football at all in his entire life.

Adongo, a Kenyan rugby player whose athleticism caught the eye of NFL scouts, said it amazed him when he found out the Colts were willing to offer him a job that could potentially be very lucrative.

“It came as a shock,” Adongo said, in comments distributed by the team’s PR staff. “I really appreciate the chance that I’ve got. Going forward, I want to be the best I can be for the team. That is what it’s about here. That’s the culture being built in the boys.”

The 6-foot-5, 257-pound Adongo admitted that he doesn’t know much about football, but he said he plans to bring “Servitude, loyalty, aggression, physicality and being a team man” to Indianapolis.

“I’m pretty much starting from scratch, but I’m a quick learner. I have to make sure I’m up and ready to go when the time comes,” Adongo said. “Everything is going to be pretty new to me.”

Adongo said he watched the Super Bowl and conference championship games and has seen “a couple of videos,” but he doesn’t know much about football. Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said the Colts are going into this with the understanding that Adongo will need time to get up to speed.

“We know he doesn’t know much,” Manusky said. “I think yesterday or two days ago was the first time he put a helmet on, so it’s a little bit odd and different but we’ll see what he has.”

It’s probably unrealistic to think that a player who never even wore a football helmet until this week could play this season, but if Adongo shows off good athleticism and a desire to learn, he’s just the kind of player that practice squads exist for.

8 responses to “Rugby player says invitation to Colts camp “came as a shock”

  1. That last sentence hit the nail on the head, and nobody should rule this guy out until he has had ample time to learn the nuances of the game. If he’s comfortable smashing into other players with absolutely zero pads on, I’d like to think that he will be a fierce tackler if nothing else. There’s alot more to being a linebacker in the NFL though, and who knows how quickly he will learn the complicated intricacies of an NFL playbook with numerous coverages, blitzes, and other various assignments.

  2. Rugby Union players are better suited to football than rugby league. For me the players are physically bigger. I think good union flankers could pick up 4-3 d/end.

  3. While I realize the likelihood that he pans out is relatively low, I love the fact that my team is looking for talent anywhere and everywhere it might be hiding.

  4. Put 15 to 20 more pounds on him and stick him on end. The position is more instinctual than linebacker and if he’s as athletic as the article says it may be easier for him to learn than linebacker.

  5. All the players the ravens lost, you would think Ozzie would of called this guy to play.

  6. He looks fairly raw for a Rugby Football player let alone American Football, but if you check out his video on YouTube he certainly doesn’t give an inch in the tackle.

  7. From youtube[dot]com/watch?v=tnSt8AQJemk: “Ran well-under 11 seconds on grass in the 100m in high school”, which is about 110 yards. Very impressive speed.

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