Two-thirds of the 7s Eagles are football crossovers.
Mike Friday's squad for the opening leg of the 2016-17 Sevens World Series, kicking off this weekend in Dubai, features six college players and another two who were recruited out of high school. The proportion is the highest in the Olympic era, according to Rugby Today, which recently reviewed the team in detail.
Crossover athletes have ever been seen as a potential strength of American rugby. Opponents fear and coaches seek out the athleticism honed in the high-performance environments of our native sports.
Past chair Kevin Roberts swept into power proclaiming the union's intent to draft NCAA football players into rugby's elite ranks, without notable success. A decade later, it seems 7s is a more efficient way to intake former gridiron players.
Perry Baker, a onetime NFL free agent who became a 7s starter last season, essentially picked up the game just three years earlier.
The US finished sixth on the 2014-15 circuit, its highest, and captured the England 7s, the first time it has won a tour stop.
Having gained access to the Olympic Training Center in 2012, however, USARFU hasn't fulfilled its goal of promoting 7s Eagles to become 15s regulars en masse.
It remains to be seen whether coach Friday prefers ex-footballers or simply those athletes who have reached the OTC. Of the 12-man squad for the opening World Series tournaments, all but the Seattle Saracens' Kevin Swiryn are training in San Diego.
The season opens with Portugal, France, and New Zealand in Dubai's pool C. Madison Hughes captains the team.
United States to Dubai 7s
Nate Augspurger, Perry Baker, Garrett Bender, Will Holder, Madison Hughes (captain), Carlin Isles, Matai Leuta, Folau Niua, Kevin Swiryn, Zach Test, Brett Thompson, Maka Unufe