Former amateur yokozuna Hidetora Hanada announced at a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday that he would be joining the Colorado State Rams U.S. Division I college football program, marking another huge step in what has been a whirlwind 16 months for the university sumo superstar.
Since he first put on pads and participated in an X League open tryout in March of 2022, Hanada has gone from learning the basics of football with corporate teams to viral fame at the Canadian Football League combine, to making the Japan national team roster and garnering expressions of interest from American college powerhouses such as Texas and Ohio State, all without playing a single snap in an actual football game.
Speaking to reporters at Japan Sport Olympic Square, the 21-year-old Hanada said: “I feel very lucky to be able to join the Colorado State team. It coincidentally came a week after I was in a situation wondering where I would go next. The opportunity came about because I was able to participate in the CFL combine.”