PRESS RELEASE: 5th June 2013
FORMER NRL PLAYER EARNS USA GRIDIRON SCHOLARSHIP
Peni Tagive, a former 1st Grade Rugby League Player, has been awarded a Full Scholarship to play American Football at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Peni was a successful NRL player and played for the West Tigers (2008-2009), St George/Illawarra Dragons (2010-2011) and the Sydney Roosters (2012).
It was a fluke meeting with a Bondi Raiders Gridiron player in Sydney last year that started the ball rolling, opening up a whole new world for Peni Tagive who was unaware the sport of American Football was played in Australia. Wanting to know more, he attended a Bondi Raiders training session where he was introduced to Head Coach Paul Manera, a former player with the University of Hawaii.
“When Peni mentioned he was interested in playing in the NFL, I recommended that he play college football first. He is a very determined person and I think he has what it takes to make it in the College System and potentially be drafted to the NFL.” said Coach Manera.
With Coach Manera’s guidance, Peni went through a step by step process to make himself eligible to play college football. Coach Manera then introduced Peni to Brian Norwood, Associate Head Coach of the Baylor Bears and sent him a 10 minute highlight video of Peni playing Rugby League. The Baylor Bears coaching staff were so impressed with Peni’s highlight video they offered him a recruiting trip to visit their campus and athletic facilities. A full scholarship was offered shortly later.
Peni decided to retire from the NRL in 2012 so that he could pursue his American Football Dream. He will study a degree in Exercise Physiology when he enrols into Baylor University this July. Peni will be joining brothers Blake & Sean Muir from the Sutherland Seahawks Gridiron Club adding 3 Australian’s to the Baylor Bears roster.
Baylor have an outstanding football program that has seen many of their players drafted into the NFL, including current Washington Redskins Quarterback and former Heisman Trophy Winner Robert Lee Griffin the 3rd (RG3). Peni Tagive has never played American Football which means that, even at the age of 24, he will still be eligible to play for 4 years. He will most likely play in the position of Linebacker or Wide Receiver.