All Americans coach Alex Magleby has a tough job this summer, because as well as selecting his All Americans and getting them ready for New Zealand Universities, he has to scout, select and train a 7s team.
While All-Collegiate 7s teams have taken the field before (Emil Signes put a team in the 7s NASC in the late 1990s), this is the first time that an All American 7s team has officially taken the field.
We at RUGBYMag.com thought we’d help Magleby out with our selections for a 7s All American team.
First, some disclaimers. We decided to go with players who are available. So, while we would love to have Thretton Palamo on this team, he’s now playing football for the University of Utah. Taylor Mokate is injured. Scott LaValla, who led Trinity College, Dublin University, to an All-Ireland 7s title, is in training with Stade Francais
So they are off limits.
Similarly, the military academy players are also largely unavailable, and that keeps Dave Geib, Ben Leaatigaga, Will Holder, Seamus Siefring and Nate Arnsberger off the team.
What we also struggled with was predicting who might be good at 7s even if we hadn’t seen a player perform at 7s. Pat Clifton took a few more flyers than Alex Goff on that level, but either way, while it’s not difficult to predict whether a player might have 7s potential, predicting whether a player can perform at a high level is much tougher.
Pat Clifton’s best 14 players:
Prop: Cam Dolan (Life) Shaun Potgieter (Arkansas State)
Hooker: Nate Ebner (Ohio State) Seamus Kelly (Cal)
Prop: Ryan Roundy (BYU) Benji Goff (Tennessee)
Scrumhalf: Peter Tiberio (Arizona) Tonata Lauti (Utah)
Flyhalf: JP Eloff (Davenport) Shaun Davies (BYU)
Center: Don Pati (Utah) Jarred Whippy (BYU)
Wing: Blaine Scully (Cal) Rocco Mauer (Bowling Green)
Alex Goff’s best 14 players:
Prop: Cam Dolan (Life) Ryan Roundy (BYU)
Hooker: Nate Ebner (Ohio State) Rob Carlson (St. Mary’s)
Prop: Nate Brakely (Dartmouth) Blaine Scully (Cal)
Scrumhalf: Peter Tiberio (Arizona) Dylan Lubbe (BYU)
Flyhalf: Nick Downer Tonata Lauti (Utah)
Center: Don Pati Seamus Kelly (Cal)
Wing: Rocco Mauer Tim Stanfill (CWU)
This list misses a bunch of players. Tim Maupin and Bubba Jones of St. Mary’s, Danny Barrett of Cal, Duncan Kelm of San Diego State, Brett Thompson of Arizona, Nick Viviani of Bowling Green, Adam Ducoing and Bobby Johns of LSU, Kellen Gordon of Central Washington, Tanner Scott and Chris Downer of Dartmouth, Alex Lee of North Carolina, Chris Saint of Penn State, Tim Acker of Kutztown, Gareth Jones of Temple, Danny James of Utah, Dave Martini of UCLA and several others. But it’s a start – an opportunity to consider how much 7s talent there really is out there.
We’ve played fast and loose with some positions, but that’s a good thing. Effective 7s players should be able to play wing and prop (Blaine Scully) and a smart halfback should be able to step in at scrumhalf or flyhalf (Dylan Lubbe, Don Pati, sort of).
Tell us who you like …