USA Men’s 7s coach Al Caravelli will have his eyes on more crossover athletes this summer. Like he did with Miles Craigwell last year (played with NYAC) Caravelli has linked crossover candidates with competitive 7s clubs.
“We realize that the model we did with Miles last year was the best one, so before we just bring guys who don’t know anything about rugby into camp, we’ve got to set them up for success, and so the best way to do that is to put them with clubs,” he said.
“The understanding I have with these coaches is they’re going to play these guys. They’re going to play every weekend. It doesn’t matter if they lose a game for them…That’s what they need. They need to understand how to play the game, what the rules are, as much as possible when they get invited to the National Team camp.
“Before we would take guys into camp and they didn’t know the rules or how to pass, and we realized we couldn’t risk taking them on tour with us, plus we can see the commitment these guys are going to have if they play club all summer.”
Below are three players Caravelli is tracking. All of them played at Football Championship Subdivision schools.
Taylor Lanigan - OMBAC - Murray State safety
Florida native Lanigan was reportedly recruited by Auburn, Florida Atlantic, Northern Iowa and Bowling Green out of high school. Lanigan is quoted as saying he had some trouble with academics. Lanigan was named to the preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference team prior to his senior year. He ran 4.53 and 4.59 seconds in the 40 at his pro day.
Corey Council - Aspen - Bethune-Cookman running back
A cornerback in high school, the diminutive Council (5-6, 170) became a punt and kickoff return specialist, running back and slot receiver at Bethune-Cookman. In 2009, Council was listed by NFLDraftScout.com as the 94th best running back of his draft class. His pro day 40-yard dash time was 4.54, but NFLDraftScout lists his lowest time as 4.43.
Ken Amsel - Old Blue - Monmouth cornerback
Amsel started in 31 games in Monmouth’s defensive backfield during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons, including all 11each of his final two years. Monmouth is a Football Championship Subdivision program that competes in the Northeast Conference, and the Dallas Cowboys’ Miles Austin played his college ball at Monmouth.
As a 5-9, 200-pound senior at Monmouth, Amsel recorded 45 tackles, including 27 solo stops, which was good enough for eighth amongst Hawks. He led the team with five interceptions and nine pass breakups. His five interceptions was tied for first among all NEC players, and 11th in the NCAA. Amsel was also named to the NEC Academic Honor Roll.