49ers’ Jarryd Hayne says moving to the NFL was like being ‘put out in the wild’

first_imgIn a lengthy interview, the 49ers player spoke glowingly about his off-season break over the Australian summer, the challenges of learning a new system under a rejigged regime, and revealed a recently acquired distaste for coffee.Quizzed about returning to his former NRL side as a spectator, Hayne said he was made to feel right back at home.”They are a very loyal fan base, very similar to the 49ers fans … they’ve been through some hard times”.”There was nothing but love. When I left they waved me goodbye – and when I came back they welcomed me with open arms.”Hayne repeated that the decision to switch codes – and countries – was driven by his faith, comparing his move to being “put out in the wild.””Every person in the Bible got put out in the wild. And God wanted to test their faith and see what they would rely on. And I felt like that, for me, was to come over here. To test my faith and who I am as a person.”What I was worried about is can I have the courage to make the first step? And that for me is success. Being able to push yourself places that you never thought you’d go”.Still unsure of his position – or place in Chip Kelly’s plans – the 28-year-old said he had been blown away by the way his story had affected the public.”I think why people responded to that so well is that you can use it in everyday life. I had so many reports saying ‘You know what you did encouraged me to quit my job and chase my dream. What you did encouraged me to lose weight for my family and push myself out of my comfort zone'”.”That really surprised me, because I didn’t do it for that.”The biggest challenge for Hayne in his second year will be getting to grips with a completely new playbook under the new management team.After his much publicised travails getting to grips with the plays in his rookie year, Hayne explains that in the 2016/17 season, a novel non-verbal approach has taken some getting used to.”I was laughing with my coach. Imagine if I had this playbook last year. There’s all these signals and that. It’s silent communication out there.”As the pre-season training gathers pace, Hayne feels like the muscle memory is coming along, and is ready to hit the round running: “You really need to be on your toes because there are a lot of moving parts.”It’s just about getting the body right and getting it rolling.”In the wide-ranging session, there was only one curveball – the star’s love affair with coffee is apparently over.”I think I’m off coffee at the moment. It’s just rattled me. I went home and it wasn’t the same. I watched something on Facebook about dairy, about what they do to cows when they’re milking them … so I’m off dairy milk at the moment” he explained.Hayne will be looking to muscle his way onto the roster for the 49ers’ preseason kicks off at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara against the Houston Texans on August 15 (AEST).Picture: Clean slate: Jarryd Hayne is setting out to impress new coach Chip Kelly. Picture by Getty Imageslast_img read more