Could Rugby Be the Key for SMU Football?

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RWU HQ – It’s fair to say that Southern Methodist University isn’t a powerhouse in Division I college football. At least not what they once were.smu1

They’re no Alabama, Oregon, or Florida State. They’re a team from the American Athletic Conference, which is one of the weakest conferences in Division I Football Bowl Subdivision.

So when it comes to recruiting the nation’s top athletes, they have to get creative. And why not choose rugby athletes as future student-athletes?

SMU head coach June Jones has been known for successfully converting track and field athletes into some of the college game’s top players, like Margus Hunt. Hunt was a former shot putter turned second round NFL draft pick in 2013.

While Jones has found success in transforming track and field athletes into football superstars, the American Athletic Conference soon wants to shift his attention towards recruiting rugby players. Jones currently has his heart set on ruggers from South Africa, according to NBCDFW.

“I do have a little bit of a track record and can identify an athlete and a guy that might be able to do what we need him to do in three or four years,” Jones told NBCDFW.

jj1The question looms... Is this a good strategy for SMU Football? 

We’ve seen this strategy in the past with players like Hayden Smith, who was once a tight end on the New York Jets, but it has never really panned out at the professional level. However, one could believe that this could be a good strategy for the collegiate game.

Ideally a rugger coming to the States from South Africa could have five years of eligibility, if they were to redshirt their first season. That redshirt season could be spent on just learning about the game and the right techniques to use in order to be most successful. Something that will favor these ruggers is that they’ll have no prior bad habits that they will need to break for their high school years. These players could learn the game more quickly and in the long run be very successful football players.

What do you think RWU readers?!?

That’s it for now. Feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter@RugbyWrapUp,Junoir BlaberDJ EberleNick Hall,James HarringtonCody KuxmannJaime LoydKaren Ritter Jamie WallJake Frechette and Declan Yeats, respectively.


About DJ Eberle 198 Articles
DJ Eberle is easily the largest of the RWU Team; Offensive Tackle Large. In fact, this Albany native played OT for Western New England University until he graduated in 2014. Like Junoir Blaber, he's moonlights on His Dad played prop with Johnathan Wicklow Barberie and Matt McCarthy - who also in a moonlighter. DJ's cross to bear, however, is his love for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. There is hope, though, that his genetic inclination for Rugby, will cure him of that! Follow him on Twitter: @DJEberle66