College football programs will leave no stone unturned in their quest to find the next great player. Thomas Yassmin, an Australian native who recently signed to play football at the University of Utah, is living proof of that fact.
Despite the fact he just put a football helmet on for the first time less than a week ago, the 18-year-old Yassmin has some traits football coaches covet—namely, hulking size and eye-popping athleticism.
Although Yassmin has never played a down of American football, he's considered one of Australia's brightest young rugby stars. A 6-foot-5, 250-pound winger, Yassmin cuts an intimidating figure on the pitch:
But it's not just that he's big—Yassmin can move. He's clocked a 4.5 40-Yard Dash after a rugby training session, and he believes he'll eventually be able to time even faster. "I think I could run a faster time," Yassmin told Fox Sports Australia.
While Yassmin projects mainly as a tight end, the Utes' coaching staff has said he could be a versatile weapon thanks to his rare skillset. "He's a big, fast, raw, twitchy athlete who could play multiple positions once he learns the game," one anonymous scout told Fox Sports Australia.
UCLA head coach Chip Kelly was also sold on the Aussie's sky-high potential and came through with a late offer, but Yassmin's heart was set on Utah. His main concern is learning and retaining the playbook, which can be a daunting task for a traditional recruit—let alone one who's never played a snap of football.
"(I'm most worried about) memorizing the plays. They bloody name plays after combinations of fruits and colors. Honestly, 'red book this,'" Yassmin told Fox Sports Australia. "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."
Yassmin will have some extra time to wrap his head around the playbook as he'll be an early enrollee later this month.