USA Rugby standout and Jackson High School graduate Carlin Isles will look to score touchdowns as well as tries after signing with the Detroit Lions Thursday morning.
Rugby's fastest man is adding a second pro sport to his résumé.
USA Rugby standout and Jackson High School graduate Carlin Isles will be looking to score touchdowns as well as tries after signing with the Detroit Lions on Thursday.
Isles is projected to be a wide receiver on the practice squad in Detroit. Isles hadn't played football since he graduated from Ashland University and was surprised at the interest from the NFL.
"This wasn't something I was looking into," Isles said. "A couple of teams called my agent and approached me with these opportunities. I haven't played football in four years, but I wanted to give it a shot."
Detroit moved to sign Isles quickly after bringing him in to take a look at him earlier in the week. "Detroit brought me in for a tryout earlier in the week," Isles said. "They had me go through wide-receiver drills and run the 40-yard dash. I think I surprised them all and I felt like the tryout went very well. They called my agent the next day and wanted to sign me. I signed Thursday morning and started practice."
Detroit wasn't the only NFL franchise interested in taking a look at the speedster before he signed.
"The Indianapolis Colts and New York Giants were also looking to bring me in," Isles said. "Before I signed I was supposed to work out for the Colts on Friday. The New York Giants wanted me to come in on Jan. 6. I was very surprised at all the interest. It was shocking."
Isles believes his speed will translate to the NFL.
"I think the biggest thing I'm bringing to the team is speed," Isles said. "I've been playing rugby so I'm used to contact. I think people will find I'm tenacious and tough. I think the electrifying speed is the biggest thing I bring to the team though."
Although Isles is now on an NFL practice squad he is not thinking of relinquishing his title of rugby's fastest man quite yet.
"I'm still playing rugby," Isles said. "After the NFL season is over I'm going to head back to the team and start getting ready for the Las Vegas tournament next year."
For now Isles doesn't believe balancing the two sports will be hard.
"I don't think participating in both will be difficult," Isles said. "I think I've always been able to stay focused whenever I participated in different sports. There may come a day where I have to chose one or the other but I don't think that time is now. I'm just going to trust in whatever God has in store for me. This is another blessing."
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