Jarryd Hayne plans to be 'completely different' player


Jarryd Hayne struggled with the transition from the National Rugby League to the National Football League in 2015.

A preseason sensation, Hayne was cut in late October.

The Hayne Plane, however, has no plans to give up on the quest to become an NFL player.

"Oh definitely. It's been exciting," Hayne said when asked if he's coming back in 2016, via the Sacramento Bee. "To come this far in seven months, give me 12, 14 (and) it's going to be completely different. And I think anyone who's seen my growth will tell you how much I've changed and developed. And it's always funny, looking at old film, it's one of those awkward things ... 'What was I thinking? Or, 'What was I doing?' It's hilarious."

Hayne wowed during the preseason with a quick first step and shiftiness in the open field. However, once the regular season started, the 27-year-old struggled with fumbles on special teams. His biggest problems came on offense, where running in tight spaces seemed foreign and uncomfortable for Hayne.

"You can't throw in 18 years worth of (football) situations in six months," special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey Jr. said this week. "It takes 21 years to become 21 years old. That's just the reality of it."

If that's the reality, Hayne is still in his football infancy. The Aussie said his time spent on the practice squad, running the scout teams in San Francisco, has given him a lot more experience than when he was on the active roster.

"Fitness-wise, I feel great," he said. "There were literally times where I didn't get off the field. I'd go from O to D to O to D and to special teams. I've enjoyed it. I've embraced every step."

The 49ers are likely to offer Hayne a reserve/futures contract. Given his unique ability and story, San Francisco might not be the only team considering a play for Hayne when the season is over.

"No, that's not my concern at the moment," Hayne said. "There's three weeks left and I'm looking forward to getting back into the sun (in Australia)."