The San Francisco 49ers took somewhat of a calculated risk when they decided to sign Jarryd Hayne.
The Australian was a rugby league star in his native country and was set to sign one of the richest contracts in the history of the sport had he stayed Down Under. Instead, the 27-year old decided to try his hand at football and the 49ers liked what they saw enough to hand him a developmental contract with $100,000 guaranteed, a lot for someone that has never played the sport before.
But it looks like the risk may have been worth it for the 49ers, if recent comments from quarterback Colin Kaepernick are anything to go by.
Kaepernick was speaking to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee when he revealed the Hayne was looking "phenomenal" in training.
"Phenomenal athlete. Just a natural," Kaepernick said of Hayne. "Since the day I met him, since every workout he's been at, he's going to give you everything he has. And it doesn't seem like there's going to be much of a learning curve for him."
The 49ers likely will ease Hayne into the National Football League by using him on special teams to start with, perhaps as a punt returner to make use of his exciting speed. But the Aussie is listed as a running back on the roster and Kaepernick seems certain that Hayne will feature and be a big part of the 49ers.
"This is going to be a football player," he said. "He does a lot of things very well and it's going to be our job to be able to utilize him and put him in position to allow him to make plays and use that athleticism.”
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