Jarrod Cann | Football – DB & Rugby | RugbyTown – Winger
Q: Tell us about your sports career and what the recruiting/scouting process was like?
A: My sports career has been a true miracle. From little league all the way through high school I was identified as a baseball guy. However, some time during my junior year my mom gave me words of encouragement to go off to college some day. I started seeking as many avenues as possible to get a full paid scholarship for a university. I decided to play football, run track, swim, and play baseball all in my senior year. I won the Afro American Sports Hall Fame (2012) award in my hometown as a result. Even with all the stats and accolades I had accumulated over the years I didn’t have a single offer to go anywhere. I dealt with politics, racism, and bias behavior the whole way. Mentors and only 1-2 coaches of mine worked diligently with my family and I, networking me into a prep school after high-school called, Fork Union Military Academy (2013). I excelled there after having to switch positions to running back. Still did not like the offers I received coming out of the academy, so I went off to Nassau Community College (2014) and switched positions to defensive back. I Did well at junior college and we won the title that year. Finally all the work paid off and I went off to Central Connecticut (2015) and had a very successful career as a defensive back where we won a conference championship. The process was and always has been mentally taxing. Even with all the talent and effort put in to contact every coach, I don’t believe I have ever done well in the recruitment department. By grace, I have always had just enough people in my corner to get it done. The true joy in the recruitment process comes from seeing just how much can grow from the adversity you’re faced with along the way.
After college I flew out to German (2019) to play pro football with a buddy of mine from college who recruited me himself. Even though I had not played football all of 2018. He told his coaches they needed to bring me on just because of the kind of leadership I brought to the team.
Did well that year and signed to another team however Covid brought that season and league to a pause in 2020.
In March of this year, I was invited to the National Scouting Combine and was exposed to an entirely new sport, rugby. Since then I have excelled this past season playing for the American Raptors. As aforementioned one of the best joys that come from the scouting process in my opinion are the experiences and challenges that grow you. This experience has grown me.
Q: Did you play in college and if so, who did you play for? What was your experience like?
A: I was a football player in college. I played for Central Connecticut State University and the experience was life changing. I learned so much about myself in my time being there. It’s helped me so much moving forward.
“I was overly excited when I attended the NSC. I had not played sports in over a full year prior to this event. I was stuck working a 9-5 for a rental company and missing the only thing I really cared to do in this world. The only thing running through my mind was gratitude for the staff that put it all together for people like me. I expected opportunities to come from this gift but the presents was a little different this year. I never expected to receive half of the blessings that were presented to me over this past year.”
Q: What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in your sports career so far?
A: I’ve learned to my true calling as a man of faith through the process of sports. Yes football and Rugby are great sports to watch but changing hearts through my testimony playing sports has been my biggest accomplishment.
Q: When did you first realize you would be a good rugby player?
A: I realized rugby might be a good sport for me after my first visit with team. I came out for a one day try out with them and just really liked all my teammates. I wasn’t even really thinking if I would be good at the sport itself I was looking for the types of individuals that I’ve previously played with on championship teams. That’s when I knew.
Q: How has your transition from football to rugby been?
A: The transition from football to rugby has definitely been eye opening. The sports may looks similar but they are really nothing alike. The culture is different. Football you train for maximum effort over short intervals. In rugby you’re constantly moving, switching rapidly from offense to defense so you train for more long distances. The transition was hard at first battling injuries but over time your body adjust and you learn efficiency.
Ultimately the transition has helped me see my priorities better and motives for certain actions.
Q: What has been the most challenging part of learning and playing rugby?
A: The hardest part about trying to learn rugby is trying to learn it from too many people. In your quest to learn you may have many different people and coaches telling you how to play the game and perform certain actions. You’ll have to discern between who actually knows what they are talking about and who does not and mold it to your game
Q: What do you consider to be one of the more important things you learned from your coach(es)?
A: My college S&C coach, Coach E used to have a saying. What are you going to do when a 800 pound gorilla jumps on your back? Will you keep fighting or will you give up. That message has always stuck with me and helped me just keep moving forward when I feel like I have nothing left to give.
Q: What has been one of the most memorable plays of your career at any level?
A: I was going up against this 235 lbs. hard nose running back all game at Nassau. I came out of my T step and shot out like a cannon from hell absolutely knocked this kid out cold, recovered the fumble and then proceeded to knock out the second string running back the following series.
Q: Who was the best player you played against anytime during your career?
A: Nate Robitaille
Q: What were your thoughts and expectations when you attended the National Scouting Combine?
A: I was overly excited when I attended the NSC. I had not played sports in over a full year prior to this event. I was stuck working a 9-5 for a rental company and missing the only thing I really cared to do in this world. The only thing running through my mind was gratitude for the staff that put it all together for people like me. I expected opportunities to come from this gift but the presents was a little different this year. I never expected to receive half of the blessings that were presented to me over this past year.
Q: Are you involved in mentoring, a charity or do you “give back” or ”pay it forward” in your community?
A: I have done a ton of work with highschool athletes in my hometown and Germany . The Anne Grace charity, Bone marrow donations, the list goes on.
I give back regularly to the community through works of the church also
Q: If you could make a positive impact on all of society what would it be and why?
A: To spread the Love of God and his Son because I believe his message and Word to be true.
Q: Who is or has been the most influential person in your life?
A: My mother (SHERRY) has been the most incredible and influential person in my life.
Q: What advice would you give athletes looking to continue their career at “the next level”?
A: The best advice I would give anyone is learn yourself in the lenses of Christ, by his word.