NFL to launch a British American Football Academy to transform British prospects into professional players.
This is the biggest news for the UK American football scene in some time. Let’s face it we’ve all thought about turning pro at one time of our lives and we would have made it if we hadn’t torn our knees up (right, guys?) The NFL has announced an initiative with Barnet and Southgate College in London that will take in players 16-19 years old that show promise in try outs. The players who make it will study a full time 2-year degree while practicing their American football skills for 6 hours a week. Here’s the website.
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Odell Beckham Jr., Patrick Mahomes, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Jerry Rice, Efe Obada and a slew of other players have already signed up to be ambassadors for this new program which guarantees they will be at the program at least once a year. The academy has two open try outs in June and if you are successful then the lucky candidates will be called back in early July for a second try out. It will involve an interview along with a physical assessment and anyone is welcome to attend. The hope is that the best among this program will go on to receive offers from US universities and eventually go on the NFL.
Jay Ajayi, another program ambassador, is a big supporter of this initiative as he was raised in the UK along with, current Carolina Panthers defensive lineman, Efe Obada. If a few players from this program manage to find success in NCAA football and eventually the NFL then the league may start to look further abroad as the search for talent never stops.