INDIANAPOLIS — Daniel Adongo is likely to be one of the first players fans will be drawn to when they get their initial look at the 2014 Indianapolis Colts later this summer.
The former professional rugby player was asked to add bulk during the offseason to better handle the rigors of the NFL. And he did an admirable job.
Listed at 257 pounds in 2013, the budding outside linebacker said he now tips the scales at 282. And he doesn't expect the added weight to affect his playing style.
"I try and stay as athletic as I can," Adongo said Wednesday at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. "It hasn't slowed me down (much), if at all. It's just an added advantage being able to move at this weight."
The native Kenyan's diet consisted of little more than fruit and nuts when he arrived in the United States for the first time last summer. So it wasn't difficult to add protein and increase bulk.
Adongo is hoping a crash course during the team's offseason workout sessions this spring will have a similar effect on his on-field performance.
"It's a big difference, and you can see that because I didn't have this period last year," he said. "I just went straight into training camp. As I said, I wanted to reiterate, this period for me is to work on my craft and really learn the intricate details of my position and our playbook."
He's already come a long way for a player who'd never played a snap of American football before last July.
Now he could become an intriguing darkhorse in the race to fill franchise sack-leader Robert Mathis' role for the first four games of the regular season. Mathis has said he sees a little of himself in Adongo, and the second-year defender has been a willing student.