In something of a Man Bites Dog scenario, the Essendon Bombers have their eyes on an obscure American college football player named Travis Wilson.
Wilson was a scrambling quarterback with the University of Utah Utes for four years. The Bombers are viewing him as a potential category B rookie, despite the fact that Wilson has never been to Australia and would probably claim total ignorance of the game of Australian rules footy.
He appears to have the sort of size and athleticism that caught the attention of Essendon’s international recruiting network, but Wilson attracted not interest from the NFL. He had signed to play for the North Coast Heat of Australia’s National Gridiron League in late 2015, but the league folded due to a variety of issues, such as players not being able to gain visas to enter the country and teams not being able to find stadiums willing to let the NGL stage games.
Wilson did have a trial with the Cincinnati Bengals, but that went nowhere.
The Bombers think Wilson could potentially be a ruckman, and even shipped him some apparel and a Sherrin or two.
He set records in many categories whilst playing in Utah, but most importantly, he meets all of the AFL criteria for Class B rookies.