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Report: Jets sign former Australian rugby star Smith


On Monday, we touched upon comments by Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano, who has an interesting theory as to why some top-flight NFL tight ends have a college basketball background.

The New York Jets are now trying to grab a piece of the phenomenon by signing Australian rugby star Hayden Smith, a former basketball player who projects as a tight end.

Hayden's personal coach, Tim Brewster, wrote about the signing Tuesday on his Twitter page. The Jets have not made an announcement.

"Hayden Smith has signed with the Jets!" Brewster tweeted, according to "Really think this guys (sic) upside in the NFL is huge!"

He's already huge, physically anyway. Standing at 6-foot-7 and 240 pounds, Smith could be a potential weapon in either the passing attack or as a blocker for a Jets team desperate to restore the lost glory of "ground and pound."

A native of Penrith, Australia, Smith played college hoops at Metropolitan State, a Division II program in Denver. He later took up rugby and excelled, making both the U.S. national team and England's premier team.

"A lot of coaches shy away from guys who haven't played the game because it is an exhausting process. To me, that's the exciting part," Brewster told the Daily Telegraph in Australia, via "Taking a piece of clay like that. And I am going to tell you, Hayden Smith is one beautiful piece of clay. Just mold him into what you want him to be."

Smith -- who reportedly ran the 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds -- made visits to multiple NFL teams. For his epic size and athletic ability alone, he's well worth a flier.