It’s not every day that a player gets invited to the Under Armour All-America Game that did not play a single down of high school football. That is exactly what happened with London rugby sensation Tyrese Johnson-Fisher.
How exactly does a rugby player in the U.K. get selected for the game? Well, his YouTube videos have gone viral and his blazing speed is apparent the second you hit play. This video from when he was just 15 shows why he became a YouTube star.
Johnson-Fisher holds a 100-meter time of 10.73 seconds and is already being considered for professional rugby contracts in the U.K. after playing rugby for his school Oakham Academy Leicester Tigers and internationally for Jamaica 7s. However, he has always had his eye on playing American football. He went to NFL games in London and also watched even more on television.
He told me that his first padded session of football was this week in Orlando in the All-America Game practices and he just started playing football a few months ago. He lined up at running back which makes sense given his abilities in rugby. I asked him how that first padded session went for him.
“Amazing! It felt heavy but I'm feeling better every time I get to play and feel that I'm acclimating to it all very quickly."
Johnson-Fisher says that he hasn’t 100-percent made up his mind if he will be playing football in the states but he does hold a scholarship offer from Coastal Carolina. He also says that in addition to the Chanticleers, Miami, Florida, Stanford and Texas are schools that interest him. I did ask him about Nebraska and he told me that he would love to hear from them.
Being the first player in the All-America game from outside the United States is a pretty big deal, however there were some struggles this week as can be expected. The verbiage of football is something he needed to get up to speed on.
“I’m trying to learn the names of certain plays, and also why I’m running those routes on specific plays," Johnson-Fisher said. "I like to know all aspects of everything because that just gives me a better understanding of the game as a whole. I’m always thinking.”
Following this unique story will be fun. Perhaps Johnson-Fisher started a trend and doesn’t even realize it yet.
Been an amazing journey, and week, and had the chance to compete with the best of the best, I am thankful to everyone who made this possible and I'm thankful for being able to showcase that us rugby players and those from London are here to play 🏆 pic.twitter.com/hINJJ95J3k
— Tyrese Johnson-Fisher🦁 (@tj_athlete) January 5, 2018
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.