United States
'The fastest man in rugby' signs for NFL team
Michael Rothstein
December 30, 2013
USA Sevens star Carlin Isles poses above Cape Town, South Africa, December 11, 2013
Carlin Isles recently imitated Rio de Haneiro's statue of Christ the Redeeemer while in Cape Town © Mat Turner/ Twitter

Carlin Isles, a member of the United States Sevens team, has signed as a wide receiver on Detroit Lions' NFL practice squad after trying out with the team.

Isles ran the 40-yard dash in 4.22 seconds during his workout with the team this week, Detroit Free Press reported.

"You're looking for athletes," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. "It hasn't been unusual to see basketball players transition to the NFL, and it's not just recently; that goes way back. Even track guys like Bob Hayes and Renaldo Nehemiah - things like that. An athlete's an athlete, and there are skills you can develop, and if you see something that you like, then you can work with him."

Isles played football and ran track at Ashland University, a Division II school, before moving to rugby.

Dubbed by RugbyMag.com as "the fastest man in American rugby", Isles became a YouTube sensation because of his speed.

Isles still wants to play for United States in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, saying "that is a goal of mine - 2016 is a big deal for me - but playing in the NFL is a blessing too".

Other NFL clubs have turned outside the US college system for talent this season, with Kenyan-born Daniel Adongo playing two games for Indianapolis Colts after playing for Southern Kings in Super Rugby last season.

Australian-born United States international Hayden Smith recently returned to rugby by re-joining Saracens after 18 months with New York Jets.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN Detroit reporter Michael Rothstein discusses the Lions' signing of rugby player Carlin Isles.

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