Jacob Smillie: The former rugby player targeting NFL opportunity after International Combine

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Former rugby player Jacob Smillie is pursuing a career in American football after playing for the NFL International Football Club at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in hopes of earning a spot on the International Player Pathway.

Jacob Smillie’s first memory of the NFL is watching a game around Christmas 2018. He cannot remember who played, he cannot remember the result, all he remembers is that it was snowing.

Earlier this month, the new rugby convert was one of 43 athletes from 13 different nationalities who participated in the NFL’s International Unification at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium when he was being tested as a runback with ambitions to earn a spot on the International Player Pathway. How time flies.

“It was a really good experience, it’s obvious that it’s best to be around people who want to be the best athletes they can be, and to have that desire and determination to compete in the NFL, and that in itself helped motivate me,” he said. … he said Sky sports… “When you are around such people, it takes you to a new level.

“I left everything as it is, and this is the main thing. More importantly, I loved it. When you do what you like it is good because you will succeed. “

Smillie, who finished fourth in the 40-yard dash on the day with a time of 4.66, was invited to the Combine after gaining attention with training videos and videos of his attempts at rugby on social media.

NFL Strategy and Development Director Chris Halpin discusses the international combine at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where 50 competitors hope to sign contracts with the teams competing in the competition.

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NFL Strategy and Development Director Chris Halpin discusses the international combine at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where 50 competitors hope to sign contracts with the teams competing in the competition.

The 23-year-old is known to have earned praise from former rugby league striker Martin Offia after running the full length of the pitch to score a goal for Halifax’s reserve in 2019. He played for the senior team once before signing with the Bradford Bulls reserve in 2020. he was followed by the Swinton Lions, who were unable to show up in the last one as his time at the club was hampered by injury.

This year he has focused on Gridirone.

“When I was in school, I was in the second set of physical education, so I had to work hard,” he said. “I started rugby at only 18 years old, and got into the professional game at 20, I made my debut in the first team at 20, and then also made my way to the senior team for the Jamaican rugby union at 20 years old. It all happened quickly.

“I dedicate my life to training, I play my own workouts, I don’t have fun, I don’t drink, I just love being the best athlete I can really be. Former rugby pro Richie Barnett, he was mine. My training partner and I did a lot with him while playing rugby, and Marcus Urbanski supported me with speed training and gym planning. I tried to make myself the best version of myself that I really can. “

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