A sports scholar from Oakham School is set to make international history after being selected as the first athlete based outside of the United States to play in the 2018 Under Armour All-America High School football game.
Tyrese Johnson-Fisher has been chosen thanks to his outstanding talents on both the rugby pitch and the athletic track.
The Game, which is much lauded in the States for bringing together the best High School American Football players, is taking place on January 4 in Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida.
The top 100 players across America are normally selected to take part, but this year there will be 99 students from America and one student from Rutland, the smallest county in England.
Tyrese, who is currently studying A-level Business, Economics and History at Oakham, is thrilled to have been selected.
He said: “I’ve always had American Football in my sights, as I feel it’s the best match for my skills.
“I can’t wait for January when I’ll get to train with some of the best coaches in the game.”
His excitement is certainly warranted, given that the Under Armour All America Game is renowned for producing many of American Football’s best collegiate and professional players – with a total of 160 alumni having been selected in the NFL Draft, including 41 first-round draft picks and 14 NFL Pro Bowlers.
“We are all incredibly proud of TJ’s successes, both on the pitch and athletics track,” said Oakham’s Director of Sport, Iain Simpson.
“This is a huge accolade for him and certainly puts his talents onto the world stage.”
All athletes selected to take part in the Game are presented with a jersey in a special ceremony.
Tyrese is no exception and representatives from the sponsors of the event - Under Armour and American Family Insurance - flew over to the UK to host a special presentation in front of his family, fellow students and staff at Oakham School.
While Tyrese has no prior formal American football experience, his athletic prowess on the rugby pitch generated international attention thanks to a match he played as captain of Oakham’s 1st U15 team.
England Rugby filmed and released footage of Tyrese in action at the NatWest Schools U15 Vase Final in 2015. The video, which has accrued millions of views since, showcases his ability to run on the rugby pitch, and why his selection for this highly regarded event is merited.
As well as playing in a variety of positions for Oakham’s 1st XV, Tyrese is also an Academy player at the Leicester Tigers.
His successes on the athletics track have been equally impressive – training with and representing both Oakham School and Croydon Harriers, his home athletics club.
Last year he won the 60m National Indoor Finals in 6.89 seconds, and having ranked joint third in the Country in the U17 100m sprint (with a time of 10.73 seconds), he qualified for GB Juniors.