Jarryd Hayne was one of the many notable guests on 49ers Radio this week. He definitely brought the goods.
The Niners Australian import joined the team's official podcast to look back on his journey to the NFL and share more stories on his path from rugby league star to running back.
I understand that not everyone has the time to listen to all 22 minutes of the interview (but seriously, you should listen in the car or whenever you have the time, and you should subscribe to 49ers Radio on iTunes for more unique interviews). I've boiled down some of the best moments with timestamps in this #Niners365 post.
GOING BACK HOME (:38)
Hayne returned to Australia this offseason to enjoy the warm weather and company of his friends and family.
"It was good to be home and to see everybody," Hayne said. "I think it was the first time I had been back since making my debut and playing in the NFL. So a lot of people were very excited to see me, and it was great to get back 'Down Under.'"
PARRAMATTA EELS VISIT (1:30)
Hayne spent a day with his former team before a game in March. Hayne said he still follows the team closely.
The running back added that the fans were understanding about his decision to leave the Eels after nine seasons and two Most Valuable Player awards.
"They are a very loyal fan base, very similar to the 49ers fans," he said. "There was nothing but love. When I left they waved goodbye - and when I came back they welcomed me with open arms."
*HOW AUSTRALIANS REACTED TO HIS RETURN (2:30) *
Follow behind-the-scenes shots from the former Australian rugby league star's transition to running back for the San Francisco 49ers.
The question I was most curious to ask Hayne was how he was received when returning home. He was a superstar in Australia and was able to become a professional athlete in another sport.
How did his hometown fans react?
"People enjoyed the journey of it," Hayne said.
The running back stated that he followed his heart in pursuing a new challenge.
"For me, it's about chasing dreams and doing things that your heart's in tune to," Hayne said. "Coming over here was it for me, and I was able to achieve more than I could have ever imagined."
RELATIONSHIP WITH ANDREW BOGUT (4:00)
Hayne is not alone as the only recognizable Australian athlete in the Bay Area. Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut was one of the first Aussie athletes to make it big in the states.
"Andrew is a good dude," Hayne said. "I texted him when they (tied) the (regular season win) record down in San Antonio."
Bogut has been outspoken in his support of Hayne's football journey. Hayne plans to return the favor by attending a Warriors playoff game. Hayne said he's optimistic on seeing a Warriors-Spurs matchup with Bogut and Australian-born, San Antonio point guard Patty Mills on the court.
"It's always good to support the Aussies every year," Hayne said.
EXPLAINING DECISION TO LEAVE RUGBY (5:00)
Australians might be more familiar with the reasons why Hayne left the Eels for the Niners, but I was curious to know for myself.
"My faith is everything to me," Hayne said. "In the Bible where it says about making the impossible, possible and not being comfortable with where you're at and always looking to grow as a person.
"And not only test my faith, but who I am as a person. The one thing in life that is guaranteed is memories — good, bad or whatever — so I wanted to do something I wouldn't regret. Whether it succeeded or didn't, that wasn't what I was worried about. What I was worried about was actually, 'Could I have the courage to make that first step?' That to me is success.
"Success is being able to push yourself places that you never thought you'd be able to go. For me, I think why people responded to that so well was that you can use that in everyday life. It's not just as an athlete, it's as a person in general.
"I had so many reports of, 'Hey listen, what you did encouraged me to quit my job and chase my dream, what you did encouraged me to lose weight for my family and push myself out of my comfort zone.' All these stories that I'd get either on my Facebook or people would tell me or through other avenues – that really surprised me because I didn't do it for that. I did this to push myself and people were inspired ... and that was really encouraging."
WHEN THE NFL BECAME AN OPTION (7:25) So what was the exact moment where an Australian superstar thought of playing NFL football?
Actually, there were a couple of instances where Hayne began contemplating a change in sports.
Hayne said watching his first Super Bowl, coupled with meeting former Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant, began to sway him from rugby to football.
"I had some pastors from America come down and they were like, 'Man, you'd make a great running back, you should come across (to the States),'" Hayne shared. "I guess those little things got the ball rolling."
Hayne later traveled to Seattle in 2014 to watch a Seahawks home game against the Denver Broncos, and a punt return sparked another revelation.
"I saw their punt returner catching and kind of returning and I just said, 'I could do that'," Hayne detailed. "I could make plays. I just felt it. I was watching him move. I was really studying the punt returns. I was just like, 'I believe I could do it.' And then, a couple of real crazy, spiritual things happened along the way."
Hayne was driving in Malibu with a friend and the two had been discussing the possibility of Hayne playing NFL football. Hayne felt like once and for all it was time to make the move.
"We had no (initial) gameplan," he said. "We just went with my faith. Within 24 hours I spoke to my manager, my coach and my CEO, and we had a press conference. And they had no idea (I was leaving). It was an incredible time."
Hayne announced his decision to leave the Eels on Oct. 14, 2014. He went on to sign a three-year contract with the Niners on March 3, 2015.
Hayne appeared in eight games in 2015. He rushed 17 times for 52 yards, caught six passes for 27 yards and returned eight punts for 76 yards.
There's a lot more quality information in the podcast, including how he's adapting to Chip Kelly's offense, what he thinks about American coffee and the joys of using Snapchat. Dive in for yourself or skip to the topics below.
BIGGEST OBSTACLE IN LEARNING NFL FOOTBALL (10:00)THE MOMENT HE FELT HE COULD CONTRIBUTE IN THE NFL (12:00)HOW DID HE FIT INTO THE LOCKER ROOM (13:20)FINDING THE BEST COFFEE OPTIONS (14:40)FOLLOWING THE SUCCESS OF STEPHEN CURRY (16:30)WHY HE CREATED THE JARRYD HAYNE APPAREL LINE (18:10)WHAT HE LIKES ABOUT USING SNAPCHAT (20:15)MINDSET FOR THE 2016 OFFSEASON (21:10)