Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Adongo a Project for Colts ; Rugby Star May Get Shot at Linebacker

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Adongo a Project for Colts ; Rugby Star May Get Shot at Linebacker

Article excerpt

ANDERSON, Ind. - Daniel Adongo has never played a down of American football, has watched only a few games on television and he tends to fidget with his helmet. Somehow, the Indianapolis Colts found this muscle-bound 6-foot-5, 257-pound athlete on the rugby fields of Africa and decided to give him a shot at making an NFL roster.

"Just take your steps and be patient," Adongo said. "The biggest thing is to be patient with myself and allow myself to have a good learning curve and build myself up."

Three are plenty of things the 23-year-old Kenyan must figure out now that he's working out with his new teammates at training camp.

He's still learning how to get around town and around campus.

He's still getting used to the sensation of a helmet and pads.

And, of course, he's still learning what he's supposed to do.

Teammates are convinced Adongo will be a quick learner, though those who have made the transition from overseas star to American contributor know it won't be easy.

"I was thinking back to when I came over for the first time to play high school football, and that was a big thing," said Indy's most recent firstround draft pick Bjoern Werner, who grew up in Germany. "Now he's coming over, he's here for two days and now he's going to experience an NFL camp right away. That's going to be tough, but he has teammates so hopefully everybody can help him out."

There is little doubt Adongo can run and hit.

But the Colts are still trying to figure out where he fits best and how long, or successful, the conversion might take. Adongo believes the move to linebacker is the most logical place to start given the combination of size, speed and aggression required to excel in rugby. If that doesn't work out, maybe he'll get a chance at defensive end or tight end or fullback.

"We watched him throw a football for the first time and in about a nanosecond we said 'You know he's not a quarterback,"' general manager Ryan Grigson said. …

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