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Rugby Players in College Football

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Rugby Players in College Football

Leki Fotu playing rugby for Herriman - he is now a freshman on the University of Utah football team.

College Football (that's right, football) season is upon us and it's worth taking a few moments to check in on what rugby players are playing college football.

Several prominent HS rugby players have gone on to get football scholarships or places on a college football roster. Here's a look at some. If we've missed any, let us know.

Devin Short. Relatively new to rugby, Short was a player out of Las Vegas we recently profiled. He is now on the roster of Adams State.

Jon Jacobs. A 6-3 lock out of the Prince William HS program, Jacobs toured with the HS All Americans in 2014, and is now on the offensive line at Arizona.

Leki Fotu. Mentioned several times in these pages as a crucial member of the Herriman HS team, and for Peninsula Green before then, and the HS All Americans during all that, Fotu is now entering his freshman season at Utah with the football team.

Liam Jimmons. Interviewed by Goff Rugby Report here when he was just a sophomore, Jimmons had a shot at playing in the UK because his mother is British. However, USC Football came calling.

Cameron Griffin. The ICEF star and snappy guitar player is looking to see more action for UCLA as a linebacker. The former ICEF No. 8 and HS All American 7s player brings a rugby mentality to the Buins as outlined in this LA Times articles: “He scrappy and relentless,” linebacker Myles Jack said. “He brings that rugby mentality. He knows how to tackle. He knows how to hit.” Griffin is currently injured but played in 11 games last year and has made the Athletic Director's academic honor roll. 

Jahlani Tavai. One of the many talented Tavai brothers out of Mira Costa, and a former HS All American, the University of Hawaii linebacker redshirted in 2014 and then played a full season last year for the Rainbow Warriors. 

Aaron Mitchell. The former San Diego Mustang and HS All American front-rower is now in his junior season at Fresno State on the offensive line, where he started all 12 games last season.

Aisea Tongilava. A former HS All American, the 6-1, 210-lb athlete out of Wilson HS and the Belmont Shore program in Southern California is entering his junior year at Cal, where he plays linebacker.

Psalm Wooching. A very talented football and rugby athlete, the former HS All American has suited up for both the University of Washington football and rugby teams. It seems, though, that football will win out in the short term as the Hawaii HS rugby product and Polynesian fire dancer may have finally found a football home on the defensive side of the ball, where he is now a valued starter.

Evan Holm. Part of the Edina HS program that won five straight Minnesota Youth Rugby titles, Holm is now a defensive back at North Dakota, and his coach Travis Stepps told InForum that 

Rugby experience is "... a good trait to have. It's physical, so he's a pretty good tackler. It comes more natural to him than it does to everyone else. His endurance is also good because rugby is continuous movement."

Sefo Mailangi. A start for the Back Bay program from a young age, Mailangi-Ray, as he is also known, was a HS All American, and is now playing football at Saddleback JC.

James Vaifale. Vaifale played for the USA U20s in the 2014 Junior World Rugby Trophy. The Tempe product is now playing football for Mesa JC.

Sean Dowling. The former Fort Hunt and HS All American prop, Dowling is now playing