British high school rugby player makes history; gets invite to Under Armour All-American Game

In what is a first for the Under Armour All-America High School Football Game, a rugby player, Tyrese Johnson-Fisher from England , has been invited to participate in the annual high school all-star game in Florida.

Not only will the 18 year old Johnson-Fisher become the first strictly rugby player to play in the game, but he is also the first player based outside of the United States to participate in the game. He was presented with his jersey at Oakham School in Rutland, United Kingdom on Thursday. Johnson-Fisher, who is currently studying A-level Business, Economics and History at Oakham, is thrilled to have been selected.

“I’ve always had American Football in my sights, as I feel it’s the best match for my skills,” says Tyrese. “I can’t wait for January when I’ll get to train with some of the best coaches in the game.”

There is good reason for him to be excited. The Under Armour All America Game produces many of American Football’s best collegiate and professional players. A total of 160 alumni have been selected in the NFL Draft, including 41 first-round draft picks and 14 NFL Pro Bowlers.

Johnson-Fisher will travel to the United States to play in the all-star game in January./Dan Matthams Photography

Johnson-Fisher first became interested in this potential opportunity when he saw coverage of the Elite 200 Camp in Troisdorf, Germany. He emailed the organizers of that camp his rugby highlights, which were then passed to the selection committee for the Under Armour game, who decided to give him a shot.

Johnson-Fisher plays rugby for Oakham as well as in the Leicester Tigers Academy. These highlights from when he was 15 years old made him an internet sensation in the UK.

His speed obviously translates to the track. At age 16, he ran the 60m National Indoor Finals in 6.89 seconds. And his U17 100m sprint time of 10.73 seconds ranks third overall in his country.

No decision has been made yet on what position Johnson-Fisher will play. With that speed though, coaches will no doubt want to put the ball in his hands. He will be one of more than 100 players competing in the 10th anniversary of the Under-Armour All-America Game.

“To have our first international player taking part in our 10-year anniversary game is a testament to the Game’s growth over the years,” Intersport vice president of Sports Properties Drew Russell said in the release. “We are proud to recognize and honor Tyrese’s talent by presenting him with his jersey today, and we look forward to hosting him in Orlando.”

The 2018 Under Armour All-America Game will be played on Thursday, Jan. 4 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida and will be televised live on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. ET.

With excerpts from SEC Country and the NFL.

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