If you're looking for a player who came somewhat out of nowhere at the Men's Collegiate All American camp, look no further than Jackson Day.
"He's a big unit," anthused Life University prop Alex Maughan. "I saw him and thought 'OK, so I'm playing against him!?' He's a really good athlete and I knew it was going to be a challenge."
Day is one of only four players from non-D1A teams who made the cut to be in the final 30 at All American camp. But look even closer, and you realize the 6-3 prop is really one of a kind. Of those four players, two come from programs that will be D1A this coming fall. The other comes from Iowa Centra CC, which is a varsity program.
But Day is coming from Western Michigan, which is a club program in D1AA that will be in D1AA this coming season, too. He is the only one with that profile.
But he has another profile. Day played football at WMU for four years, playing on the offensive line in 38 games. A massive, powerful athlete, he impressed at All American camp from Day One despite playing against more seasoned opposition.
"He can only get better and he's playing well now," said Mauchan. "He had a really good first game and in the second he scored the winning try."
We will likely see more of Day in the future, but we've also seen him before. He's not new to rugby, he just took a break. It's a relatively common story - young athlete plays rugby, gets a football scholarship, and then comes back.
In Day's case, he played for four years at the hugely successful Penn HS team, playing for four years under Bart Bottorff. His athleticism was football's gain in 2013, but he's back now.