San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula says he is excited by the signing of former Parramatta Eels star Jarryd Hayne.
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Tomsula lauded the fact Hayne took a major risk in leaving his NRL deal with the Eels to chase his NFL dream.
“The other thing that gets me too, that excites me, he is ‘the guy’ in Australia,” Tomsula is quoted as saying by Fox Sports.
“Lawrence (Okoye) was ‘the guy’ in England. You were all huddled around a table to talk to them.
“They were the best at what they were doing and in both situations they walk away from that to start something new, to start at the bottom. That hits me. That’s something different about who you are and your make up.
“There’s a lot of courage involved right there – or you’re flat nuts. Either way, that could work for us, right?”
The 49ers confirmed earlier in the month that Hayne had signed a three-year futures deal.
Tomsula said Hayne “explosive qualities” would help him in his preferred position of running back.
“He’s playing a position that’s not like anything else he’s done,” Tomsula said.
“Everything is completely brand new. That’s a hard transition.
“When you get to a guy playing rugby and his skillset is as a running back – that’s where we’ll start him, I’m not going to tell you that’s where he’ll end – you’ve got a guy who’s used to being down field catching a ball with people running at him.
“You’ve got a guy who’s used to making tackles in open spaces. You’ve got a guy who’s used to catching the ball, carrying the ball, being in open space and avoiding. Obviously with the explosive qualities that he has, you can’t help but be excited.”