On Thursday, the Colts announced the signing of Kenyan rugby player Daniel Adongo as well as the waiving of tight end Weslye Saunders, who was recently hit with an eight game suspension by the NFL for performance enhancing drugs.
Adongo is the bigger story here, potentially, coming over from a team called the Southern Kings in South Africa. He is 23 years of age, and is in perfect shape for the NFL at 6’5″ 257 pounds with great length and overall physical fitness. Adongo will be playing outside linebacker with the Colts, and he joins a long list of players who have come to the Colts from all areas of the globe, including the CFL, AFL, and now a professional rugby league.
“We are excited as an organization with the acquisition of Daniel Adongo,” Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said on the club’s website.
“He is not only an elite athlete an rising international rugby player, but he is an exceptional competitor and human being that has the right makeup for our sport. We all look forward to watching his growth and development in the ensuing weeks.”
The Colts signed Adongo just in time for the start of training camp, starting on Sunday July 28th. Adongo joins first round pick Bjoern Werner, a German import who played his college ball at Florida State as well as a former CFL Defensive Player of the Year in Justin Hickman, and Caesar Rayford, a former star in the AFL for the Utah Blaze.
The defense saw Jerrell Freeman experience great success in 2012 after he transitioned to the NFL from the CFL and wound up leading the Colts in tackles, becoming an integral piece of the franchise going forward.
With Adongo, the Colts have the flexibility of putting him on the practice squad, but to say he is going to be intriguing to watch in the pre-season is a vast understatement. The Colts’ OLB position in general is going to be riot with a team legend in Robert Mathis, a first round pick (Werner), a former CFL DPoY (Hickman), an AFL star (Rayford), and now an up-and-coming international Rugby player. He certainly has the look of an NFL player.