The Colts released recently suspended backup tight end Weslye Saunders today and signed former rugby player Daniel Adongo, listed as an outside linebacker, to take his spot on the roster.
The NFL suspended Saunders for eight games a week ago for using performance-enhancing drugs, the third Colts player this offseason to run afoul of either the law or NFL rules (Safety Joe Lefeged was arrested in Washington D.C., and WR Levon Brazill will serve a four-game suspension for using illegal recreational drugs). More after the jump…
Saunders is a big, athletic tight end with good speed and even better size for the position. He was making a name for himself at South Carolina before then coach Steve Spurrier dismissed him from the team for conduct reasons (Saunders was also under investigation from the NCAA at the time, but his dismissal was purported to be for other reasons).
Despite his character and maturity issues, Saunders’s skill set and athleticism made him worth a gamble as an undrafted free agent. He played for the Steelers in 2011 and appeared in 11 games as a reserve for the Colts in 2012. The measurables were enticing, similar to Coby Fleener in size and speed (though Fleener is obviously a better overall football player), but this may be it for Saunders in the NFL.
Meanwhile, there will be a new face at training camp, and although as far as anyone can tell, he has no prior American Football experience, he certainly looks the part. Daniel Adongo is a 6-5, 257-pound, 23-year old Kenyan rugby player with some serious athleticism. He is what basketball analysts would call a swingman, able to play both flanker and lock (Sounds impressive, even if I don’t happen to know what on earth those positions mean).
Adongo, 6-5, 257 pounds, is a 23-year-old Kenyan national who most recently played for the Southern Kings of Super 15 Rugby, the highest level of pro rugby in the world. Previously, he played in the 2012 Varsity Cup for the University of Pretoria Tuks and is currently working towards earning his degree from the school. In 2011, Adongo was signed by the Vodacom Blue Bulls, but was released from his contact after six months to join the New Zealand ITM Cup team Counties Manukau.
Adongo graduated from Strathmore High School (Nairobi, Kenya) in 2006 and attended the University of South Africa the following year. He also attended the Sharks Academy, a rugby academy accredited by South African Rugby, and made his senior debut in the 2010 Vodacom Cup. In addition, Adongo played for the Kenya Harlequins junior team before going on to play for Kenya’s U-18 and U-19 national teams.
Some links to video of Adongo. Watch for number 5 (?), and number 18 in the second video:
That’s one strong-looking fella. He looks like he can create some serious mayhem on the field. Welcome to beautiful Indianapolis, Mr. Adongo.
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