Jamie Gillan P —> SS
Yup, you may not believe it but Jamie Gillan isn’t your ordinary punter. Unlike many others who came from another sport, Gillan didn’t come from soccer like other pro kickers. No, he came from rugby. Rugby is the one sport on this Earth that can rival football in skillset and intensity. Gillan played for an amateur team back in Scottland called the Highland RFC, an amateur team that feeds players into pro leagues. He also played for Merchiston Castle School, whose high school rugby team is one of the best in the country for developing rugby players.
Essentially he was a rugby standout. Now, if you don’t realize this let me explain something, rugby players know how to hit. Gillan was a standout at two of the best amateur clubs before his father moved the family to the United States and was eyeing a return to the rugby pitch for a potential pro career even after he played football in high school. For just five games mind you. A random happenstance with a friend of his saw Gillan land at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, a historically black college. Not sure how many Scottish rugby players APB has accepted over the years, but it’s fair to say not many.
(By the way, he pronounced Arkansas as Ar-Kansas, and now that state is ruined for me.)
Needless to say, Gillan is a unique guy. A unique guy with a unique skill set that could easily transfer over to football if people took the time to train him to hit properly. Now you might ask yourself, “Sure, but he’s not a real football player. He’s a punter!” A punter with a 4.6 40-yard dash, while putting up 23 on the bench press and a vertical leap of 36.5.
He’s also taller and just as heavy as new Browns safety John Johnson. For comparison, he’s nearly as fast (Johnson 40: 4.61 to Gillan’s 4.69), leaps nearly as high (Johnson’s 37” to Gillan’s 36.5”), and far stronger than Johnson (13 bench reps to 23).
Don’t tell me that with an entire offseason of training that Gillan couldn’t learn to play safety and play it well.