Utah gets jump on signing Aussie TE due to time-zone difference

A time-zone difference allowed Utah to reveal its first signee several hours before the second signing period was set to open Wednesday morning.

Prospects are allowed to sign and send in their national letter of intent at 7 a.m. Wednesday, but that time distinction is specific to each player's time zone.

The Utes announced the signing of tight end Thomas Yassmin at 4:54 p.m. ET on Tuesday because Yassmin attends Scots College, near Sydney, Australia -- where it was 8:54 a.m. Wednesday.

That wasn't the only unusual aspect of Yassmin's signing; the Utes found him while he was playing rugby in Australia, and he has yet to even play American football.

Utah defensive line coach Lewis Powell called Yassmin "one of the best rugby players at his age" in Australia.

"Really explosive, quick twitch and really long," Powell said. "We'll try him out at different spots, if he'd like to be a receiver, or tight end, wherever he fits best I feel like we'll put him in there.

"He for sure has all the ability. He's tough, and he's a kid that you watch on his rugby highlights, he can run, he can tackle, and somebody running that fast and tackling, being that physical at his size is the reason why we're bringing him."

At 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, Yassmin is going to have to learn on the fly to play the new sport and do it in a completely different environment in Utah.