Dylan Carrion was the MVP of the USA Rugby Men’s College 7s Championships, and he was a deserving player, although many others made their mark, and MVP said so.
“This was an effort one through 15,” Carrion said after the event. “Depending on what the defense gives us, will depend on which one of us scores. Everyone’s capable of being the distributor, and being the guy who finishes. Throughout the first five games the defense was keying on me and [Zinzan Elan-Puttick] had seven and Tom [Haussrer] had six tries, and in this last game a couple of gaps opened up for myself, and I was fortunate enough to be nominated [for MVP]. But any one of these guys [could have won it.]”
Very true, and it has been enormously difficult for us at RUGBYMag.com to prepare an All-Tournament team because of that - and because Arkansas State was so dominant, you might want to just put every player on the list.
But there were players from other teams who deserve notice.
Since rosters were 15 players deep, we have nominated 15 players. Here is our list, and why:
Dylan Carrion Arkansas State. Superb distributor, brave, speedy, intelligent player.
Joe Reavey St Mary's. Doesn’t look like a 7s ninja but is one, with deceptive acceleration and an eye for space.
Madison Hughes Dartmouth. Remains one of the most explosive players in college rugby. Like Carrion, somewhat small, but also like Carrion, physically strong and fearless.
Jack McAuliffe Navy. McAuliffe, as usual, pulled off some startling plays throughout the weekend. Navy were disappointed in their finish, but we still love what McAuliffe brings to the table.
Tanner Barnes CWU. At times the guy who carried Central Washington’s offense, and at times the guy who needed to do a little less to bring his teammates along for the ride. But on balance, an exciting player who just needs to trust his teammates more in critical moments.
Robert “Zinzan” Elan-Putick Arkansas State. Scored a ton of tries, directed the offense and defense, and just seemed to read the game superbly well. Was smart enough to sometimes just catch and pass to set someone free – an obvious skill employed far too rarely.
Morgan Findlay Lindenwood. Explosive and elusive. Some at the RUGBYMag.com World Headquarters say he’s close to, if not the, best college player in the country. Didn’t see that this weekend, but he’s still very, very good.
Harley Davidson Life. Can completely turn a game around. Fast, confident, exciting. In a game where most players go into contact too high, Davidson always seems to be running in a crouch.
Garrett Brewer St. Mary's. Has all the tools and his height, jumping ability, and pace make him an excellent Eagle candidate.
Shaun Potgieter Arkansas State. Yes others from ASU could have been here, but Potgieter seemed to be the guy who imposed himself physically on the opposition more than anyone else. If we had not picked Potgieter and chosen Paul Benade instead, that would have been fine, also.
Paris Hollis Life. Life won games because of Hollis, who is emerging as not only a physical presence, but one that understand the game.
Jackson Bristol Air Force. Can cover ground, and has some great height, and did you notice that Air Force finished in the top eight?
Tyler Coffman CWU. Coffman has a good turn of pace and is big and strong, also. It’s not his fault Central Washington failed to get him the ball at some critical moments. He will only get better.
Adam Sandstrom Arizona State. ASU had several interesting players and winning the Bowl in a 24-team tournament is actually no great shame. Remember, they actually finished 5-1 on the weekend. Sandstrom, who shed his cool exterior a time or two, is an elusive player with size who plays very good defense.
Michael Al-Jiboori Oklahoma. On a team that struggled against stronger opposition, Al-Jiboori gets the nod in part because he has the potential to succeed at the next level.