UK NFL ACADEMY PLAYERS SIGN FOR US COLLEGES TO PLAY NCAA COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Verge Magazine CEO and Alternative Sport host Andre Dixon catches up with Dallas Cowboys coach Aden Durde, 

Aden is one of the standout British stars in the NFL, and Hard Knocks star this offseason, and is the defensive line coach for the high-flying Dallas Cowboys.

Last season Aden joinined Idris Elba by signing up for an initiative called My Cause My Cleats  which saw him wear cleats on the sideline of the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders. The boots will be auctioned off for his chosen cause – Aden has chosen knife crime prevention in London, a cause close to his heart, having been brought up in London, in a community directly affected by knife crime.

Catch the full interview Here

 

The NFL Academy announced the names of three UK players that have signed to Division 1 colleges and will play NCAA College Football from January 2023.

The UK trio of Peter Clarke, from Streatham, Kofi Taylor-Barrocks from Lewisham and Freddie Pelling, from Bedfordshire, all 19 years old, have officially signed for their selected universities on full athletic scholarships on ‘National Signing Day’.

The future looks bright for these talented as Clarke signed for Temple University, Pelling to University of Hawai’i to be part of Sky Sports NFL analyst’s Jeff Reinebold’s team, and Taylor-Barrocks will join University of Colorado Boulder under the tutelage of legendary coach and NFL Hall of Famer, Deion Sanders, otherwise known as Coach Prime.

The NFL Academy, founded in 2019 and operating full-time out of Loughborough College and Loughborough University, uses American Football to create life changing opportunities for talented athletes. Education is the main priority of the NFL initiative, and the NFL Academy aims to create pathways into further education, employment and potentially an opportunity to study and play NCAA College Football in the United States.

The announcement is a landmark moment for the NFL Academy as it continues to grow in influence with four alumni already playing in the NCAA Division 1. There are currently 63 student athletes, aged 16 – 19, playing and studying at Loughborough College full-time as part of the program.

As well at the current NFL Academy UK athletes, NFL Academy alumni Dimitri Madden, from Lewisham, is signing with the University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP) today.  Dimitri began his career with the Kent Exiles and is currently enrolled at a junior college called New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI). He chose to sign with UTEP after receiving multiple other NCAA Division 1 offers.

Peter Clarke, who plays at tight end, joined the NFL Academy aged 16 back in 2020. Previously playing for the London Warriors in their youth sections, he secured an incredible 14 offers from separate colleges. Recognised for his hard work, size and speed, his decision was made after being impressed with Temple University’s facilities and structure, during an NFL Academy tour to the States earlier this year.

On signing with Temple, Clarke said: “Joining Temple is a huge achievement not just for me but for my family and European football players. I can’t want to represent where I come from and perform on the big stage in cherry and white.”

Kofi Taylor-Barrocks from Lewisham was one of the first 90 students to enter the Academy and his love of football began at the Kent Exiles. A fast, no-nonsense line backer, Kofi received 10 Division 1 offers as a result of his role as the beating heart of the NFL Academy defence.

In joining University of Colorado Boulder, he will be teaming up with legendary NFL Hall of Famer, Deion Sanders. Initially Taylor-Barrocks committed to Jackson State University because of the coach but with Coach Prime moving to Colorado and advocating for the Londoner to follow him, he has now decided to team up in Colorado.

On changing his commitment and following Coach Prime, Taylor-Barrocks said: “I’m excited to be heading to Boulder, a dream of mine has been accomplished. I’m excited to be a Buffalo and I am just ready to get over there and finally be a part of the family.”

Freddie Pelling from Bedfordshire who comes from a rugby background shows the crossover skills between the sports in signing with the University of Hawai’i. Standing at 6 ft 9 his size drew a lot of attention, however, famed for his work ethic, he has committed to improving his skills and spent an extra year at Garden City Community College before receiving this offer. In joining the university, he will work with Director of Player Development and experienced coach across the CFL, NCAA, NFL Europe and The Spring League, Jeff Reinebold.

Excited to start his new venture and to work with Jeff Reinebold, Pelling commented: “I’m excited to join The Braddahhood, move out to the Islands and start playing D1 ball. It’s a process that’s been ongoing for four years so I’m glad to start work on a new goal.”

Kris Durham, Head of NFL Academy, said: “I’m extremely proud of all of our young student-athletes that are signing today. It is a major accomplishment for our NFL Academy program, but more importantly, this is a massive achievement by each of these individuals. These young men have set the standard in our program with dedication to both their athletics and academic careers. The sky is the limit, and we look forward to watching them compete on Saturdays next fall.”

Efe Obada, NFL Academy ambassador and current Washington Commanders defensive end, added: “This is a great moment for the NFL Academy and emphasises the strong progression the program has made on and off the field in recent years. Peter, Kofi and Freddie should each be very proud of their achievements.  The hard work starts now to excel at the next level and I’m excited to watch their journeys in the game.”

With the success of this and previous year’s applicants, more will be hoping to follow the footsteps. The NFL Academy is now recruiting for the next intake of students.

Click here to find out how to apply. 

 

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