The New York Jets have one of the NFL’s most intriguing players on their roster in former Australian Rugby star Valentine Holmes.
It’s hard enough to make the transition to the NFL when you’ve been playing American football for most of your life. For Australian Rugby star turned New York Jets special-teamer Valentine Holmes, that learning curve is on an entirely different level.
After joining the Jets’ roster via the NFL’s International Pathway Program, Holmes now faces the challenge of learning a completely different sport at the world’s highest level, something he’d already proven successful at on the rugby pitch.
Jets running backs coach Jim Bob Cooter sees obvious talent and potential in Holmes, but knows he has a unique challenge heading into training camp (via team senior reporter Eric Allen):
He’s a guy that has some physical ability. Guys that’re moving from one sport to another, it takes them a little bit of time to totally get comfortable, but I would say he’s ahead of the curve. He’s learning things well and we’re excited to work with him.
Holmes’ skill set should give him a chance to compete for a roster spot at either running back or wide receiver, but even if he’s listed at either position this fall, his biggest chance to make the team will likely come on special teams.
If he can prove to be even half as valuable to the Jets as he has been in the rugby world, Holmes could end up being quite the secret weapon for the Gang Green in 2019.