In what is a first for the Under Armour All-America High School Football Game and in general just a really cool story, English rugby player Tyrese Johnson-Fisher has received an invite to the annual high school all-star game in Florida.
Johnson-Fisher, 18, will become the first player based outside of the United States to participate in the game. He was presented with his jersey at Oakham School in Rutland, United Kingdom on Thursday.
“I’ve always had American Football in my sights, as I feel it’s the best match for my skills,” Johnson-Fisher, who despite having no live football experience, has showcased significant talent rugby and track, said in a release. “I can’t wait for January when I’ll get to train with some of the best coaches in the game.”
Johnson-Fisher initially became interested in this potential opportunity when he saw coverage of an Elite 200 Camp in Troisdorf, Germany. He emailed the organizers of that camp his rugby highlights, which were then passed to the selection committee for the Under Armour game, who decided to give him a shot.
Johnson-Fisher plays rugby for Oakham as well as in the Leicester Tigers Academy. These highlights from when he was 15 years old made him an internet sensation in the UK.
And clearly his speed displayed during those plays translates to the track. At age 16, he ran the 60m National Indoor Finals in 6.89 seconds. And his U17 100m sprint time of 10.73 seconds ranks third overall in his country. Now the question is will it translate to the football field.
“We are all incredibly proud of TJ’s successes, both on the pitch and athletics track,” Oakham’s Director of Sport, Iain Simpson, said in the release. “This is a huge accolade for him and certainly puts his talents onto the world stage.”
There is no word yet on what position Johnson-Fisher will play once he makes the journey across the Atlanta Ocean, but with that speed, you gotta think the coaches will want him with the ball in his hands. He will be one of more than 100 players competing in the 10th anniversary of the Under-Armour All-America Game.
“To have our first international player taking part in our 10-year anniversary game is a testament to the Game’s growth over the years,” Intersport vice president of Sports Properties Drew Russell said in the release. “We are proud to recognize and honor Tyrese’s talent by presenting him with his jersey today, and we look forward to hosting him in Orlando.”
The 2018 Under Armour All-America Game will be played on Thursday, Jan. 4 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. and will be televised live on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. ET.
SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan contributed to this story.
Baker Mayfield on Oklahoma facing Georgia in Rose Bowl: ‘I love a challenge’