Lindsay Crook is the most interesting man in the world… of Bearcat football.
The native Australian is just 20 years old, but it’s safe to say that he has experienced much more of the world than any other member of UC’s 2013 class of incoming freshmen.
Crook began playing professional rugby in Australia as he turned 18, and in two short years he has played all over the world, including London, Dubai, Hong Kong, Scotland, China, New Zealand, Samoa and South Africa.
Thanks to an NCAA bylaw that allows professional athletes to play a different sport for a member institution and still receive financial assistance, Crook is passing up what many would call an “opportunity of a lifetime” to play American Football.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Aussie has enrolled at UC, effectively passing on the distinct possibility of representing Australia as a member of its 2016 Olympic rugby team.
“He was supposed to be on the Australian Olympic team for rugby, but he’s always wanted to play American football,” said Crook’s new head coach, Tommy Tuberville. “He’s played at Wembley Stadium in front of 70,000 or 80,000 people. He’s real fast, good athletic ability. I think he ran a 10.8 in the 100 meters in high school.”
Crook is welcoming the challenge of playing a sport he spent his childhood watching, but was never given the chance to play.
“Basically, I’ve watched American football ever since I was a little kid and I’ve just loved it,” Crook said. “In Australia it’s not very big at all, kind of like how rugby isn’t big in the United States. Because I’ve played rugby my whole life, I’ve never been able to try (American football) and actually have a go at it.”
Tuberville expects to start Crook – or Crocodile Dundee as he has affectionately been nicknamed – off at linebacker, but the possibilities for Crook are limitless. Rugby has provided Crook with the ability to punt, kick, tackle, break tackles and just be an all-around freak athlete. Don’t believe us? Just check out his highlight film.
Photo: The Cincinnati Enquirer/Joseph Fuqua II
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