The San Francisco 49ers are just waiting for the 2016 regular season to start before they unleash Australian Jarryd Hayne, who is expected to have a “much stronger season” by the 49ers executives and coaches this year.
“I think you’ll see a jump from him. You look at elite athletes and those guys who have that willpower and desire to succeed and there’s something special in them,” Paraag Marathe, the Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President of Football Operations of the 49ers, said via San Jose Mercury News.
The statement is a vote of confidence for Jarryd Hayne, who has been criticized last season for his inconsistent play on the field and his readiness to play American football questioned.
For the upcoming season, the Australian, who was a star for the Parramatta Eels in the National Rugby League (NRL) in Australia, is not expected to start at running back as he is playing behind Carlos Hyde, DuJuan Harris, Mike Davis and Shaun Draughn at the RB position.
“The one thing that intrigued us the most about Jarryd Hayne was that will. It was that succeed-at-all-costs mentality that he had,” Marathe added.
Hayne, who did not consider to quit the NFL and pursue his American football dream, played in just eight games last season when he had 52 rushing yards on 17 carries, 27 receiving yards on 7 catches, and eight punt returns for 76 yards.
Jarryd Hayne was the NRL’s player of the year in 2009 and 2014 but decided to try out his luck in the United States and the NFL before the start of the 2015 season.
Photo courtesy: Jeffrey Beall/Wikimedia Commons