Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Caravelli Looks to Former Football Star Leonard Peters

USA 7s coach Al Caravelli is still looking for that crossover athlete to jump into his team. Many have found it isn’t easy – rugby is a mental game, too. The latest candidate has a little background to help him out – American Samoa-born, rugby trained college football hero Leonard Peters.

Peters played football at Kahuku High School and later the University of Hawaii, but during his formative years also had some rugby experience. Kahuku was coached by the legendary Livai Siuaki, who is now heavily involved in Hawaii rugby.

Peters became a star in hawaii football. According to the Honolulu Advertiser, he was labeled by 2005 Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush as one of the toughest defenders he’d ever played against.

The football safety had a stint with the New York Jets and Chicago Bears, but did not make their final NFL rosters. He is 27, 6-1, 215 pounds. After being cut by the Bears he was contacted by Andy Katoa of the Aspen 7s team. Katoa had his own NFL shot in the 1990s and asked Peters if he wanted to return to rugby. Peters was highly enthusiastic.

Suddenly Caravelli has in his pool a hard-hitting defensive player with some basic rugby knowledge and a 4.43 time in the 40-yard dash.

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