Jarryd Hayne has received another glowing endorsement from San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula just hours before the team slashes 14 players off their roster.
The 49ers can wait until the NFL deadline on Tuesday to announce their first roster cuts, but are expected to do it a day earlier (Tuesday AEST).
Former NRL star Hayne isn’t expected to be a casualty after impressing in the first three pre-season games.
“I’ve seen what I need to see,” Tomsula told reporters on Sunday.
“There’s been a great evaluation on him.”
Hayne may sit at the bottom of the depth chart among the 49ers’ running backs, but on special teams as a punt or kick returner he has proven to be a potent attacking weapon for the 49ers.
He has also proven to have safe hands and make the right decisions.
The player expected to be the 49ers’ best return option, Reggie Bush, a former Heisman Trophy winner for the best college player, and the number two draft pick in 2006, had a poor game against the Denver Broncos on Saturday.
Tomsula said he was also looking at Bruce Ellington and DeAndrew White as return options.
Hayne, who quit the Parramatta Eels late last year to pursue an NFL career, has been put under the microscope by the 49ers and the US media.
They’re impressed a 27-year-old who had never played the sport would quite likely push his way into the 49ers’ 53-man squad, set to be announced by Saturday.
“I’m pretty confident in Jarryd’s ability to field the ball,” Tomsula said.
“I’ve watched a tonne of tape of him fielding a rugby ball.
“I’ve seen him in practice and in game situations.
“I feel very good about his ability to field.
“I feel good about his ability to perform with ball in his hands on special teams.
“The tackling, coverage part, I’ve seen lot of improvement.”