Taye Olagunju Joins as Development Player
Jackals Development Players are key to building rugby domestically. Following the same training schedule as Jackals players and placement with local clubs to gain game experience, the Developmental Players will have the opportunity to improve to MLR level of play as part of our high performance pathway.
Dallas Jackals are delighted to announce Tayé Olagunju will join the pack as a Development Player for the 2022 MLR season! Olagunju attended University of Georgia and declared for the recent 2021 MLR Collegiate Draft.
Born in Chicago, IL before shortly moving to Kennesaw, GA, Olagunju began playing rugby with Norseman U19 during his senior year at Kennesaw Mountain HS. He also wrestled, played football, and was a thrower on the track team in high school.
After finding his passion on the pitch, Olagunju knew he wanted to continue his playing career in college. He attended the University of Georgia (UGA) majoring in Biological Engineering and playing rugby throughout. He spent two seasons as club President and one as team captain. In his final season at UGA, Olagunju hopes to pass on his knowledge and experience to his younger teammates.
Elaine Vassie, Jackals GM, said, “Having only commenced playing his senior year, we were impressed with both the progress Tayé had made in a relatively short time in the game, as well as his commitment to continual self-development. Recently as a member of USA South U23 squad he’s demonstrated both his mobility around the park as well as his scrummaging. We’re confident with Taye’s work ethic and the support of our program, there’s a bright future ahead.”
In the offseasons of competing on the pitch for the Bulldogs, Olagunju competes in friendly matches with the various clubs including the Gainesville Spartans, Gwinnett Lions, and Athens Eagles. Just this past summer, Olagunju was selected to play for the USA South U23 Panthers, a collection of the best players from the Southeastern United States. He says, “This was a big moment as it was a goal I worked hard to reach throughout my college career.”
Outside of rugby, he enjoys cooking, baking, playing video games, listening to music, and spending time with his Boxer/Hound Mix Shadow. With Nigerian roots, Olagunju has a twin brother and two younger sisters.
Determined and humbled by this opportunity, Olagunju said, “Earning the opportunity to join the Jackals is a dream come true! I have always pushed myself to play at the highest level so this is validation of the countless hours of field work and film study I have put in over the last few years. Joining the Jackals will give me the opportunity to train with some of the best coaches and players in the world and will help me to improve as a player.”
He continued, “I hope to learn as much as I can and continue to get better every single day. I am also looking forward to being close to family and friends that live in Texas and enjoying some of the museums and natural attractions of the city.”
Welcome to the Pack Tayé!
About Dallas Jackals —
The Dallas Jackals are a professional rugby team of Major League Rugby (MLR), the highest level of rugby competition in North America. The Jackals were named as an expansion team in 2020 and will play their inaugural season in 2022. The team’s central mission is to develop domestic talent to a world-class level of play and professionalism while strengthening the high- performance pathway in DFW by supporting the local clubs. Through proactive Community Outreach, the Jackals will exemplify and spread the passion of rugby by inspiring tradition, respect, family, and character on and off the pitch.
About MLR —
Major League Rugby is a professional sports league entering its fifth season and represents the highest level of rugby competition in North America. The League evolved from seven teams in 2018, to 13 teams in 2022, featuring 12 from the United States and one from Canada. Matches are televised on CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 2, and ESPN+, among other national and local market platforms. All matches are available on Facebook Live for international fans. MLR prides itself in fostering intense and high-stakes competition, while bringing together a passionate community built on the values of Respect, Inclusivity, and Tradition. For more information about MLR, visit MajorLeague.Rugby.
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