Louis Rees-Zammit shockingly quits rugby for NFL ambition.

In this level, athleticism and game knowledge get you playing time. Given such limits, determining Rees-Zammit's viewpoint is difficult. Ten years ago, he could make a squad as a kick returner, sprinting around the field without learning the playbook. The NFL has quietly legislated kickoff returns out of the game owing to safety concerns, making returners bit-part players.

Taking up the sport at 22 makes Rees-Zammit's defense difficult to imagine. NFL defenses are complicated. One Kansas City Chiefs defensive coverage includes 650 permutations. Players can spend 10+ years learning what's happening pre-snap, let alone where to go and what to do once the ball is in play.

Due to their inability to understand NFL schemes, collegiate talents typically fail in the pros. The IPPP has produced pass-rushers, but Rees-Zamit is too tiny.

Players that convert to the league usually play offensive, where they know where the ball is going before it's snapped. Cross-sport stars often play running back. In 2015, Hayne left rugby for the NFL. After playing running back and return specialist in San Francisco, he bounced between practice squads.

Wade switched too. Wade was a typical running back at 5'9" with jets in his feet. He was small for the NFL, muscular, and explosive. Two plays into his first preseason game, opponents seemed to be onto something with rugby-convert. Wade got a simple handoff from his quarterback, planted his foot, and blasted into daylight.

Wade's run typified the sport-switching issue. Wade was a rugby downhill powerhouse once he burst into the open ground. But his run was successful because he didn't follow the blueprint

His run surprised the defense, which struck its usual targets. For an occasional highlight, that works. Snap after snap, it fails. Coaches won't let players break the strategy, and opposition defenders will find out how to stop him.

Whatever position he plays, Rees-Zammit will have trouble. He will likely play wide receiver. Running back is complicated, but NFL receiver is a whole other realm.

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