International Recruiting (Football)

Submitted by Laveranues on January 27th, 2011 at 8:34 PM

Why don't major college football programs (USC in the pacific islands excepted) recruit internationally? And I know what you're thinking: because it would be more expensive and nobody plays American football internationally.

My counter to these arguments is that it would require minimal effort to attract some kids from the Caribbean or South America, for example, where there is a surplus of athletes and a shortage of opportunities.

Regarding the fact that they would have no football experience, a Jamaican sprinter with not-quite Usain Bolt's speed could easily become an asset at corner or receiver with a year or two of coaching.  Or a Brazilian footballer that can't quite go pro but wants to get out of the favelas.

Taking one or two fliers per year on this sort of prospect would have minimal risk and huge upside, particularly if a few guys made it big and brought the game back home.

Thoughts?  Neg bangs?

Comments

michiganprof

January 27th, 2011 at 9:05 PM ^

from that school in Montréal. I can't remember the name of one of them offhand - he was a phenomenally physically gifted kid at DE who never quite seemed to get it completely together but showed amazing stuff at moments. In particular I remember him taking a fumble away from Rex Grossmann in the Citrus Bowl against the Gatorzooks. The shotgun snap got behind Grossmann and this DE seemed to move at the speed of light to get it from him. 

michiganprof

January 27th, 2011 at 9:07 PM ^

from that school in Montréal. I can't remember the name of one of them offhand - he was a phenomenally physically gifted kid at DE who never quite seemed to get it completely together but showed amazing stuff at moments. In particular I remember him taking a fumble away from Rex Grossmann in the Citrus Bowl against the Gatorzooks. The shotgun snap got behind Grossmann and this DE seemed to move at the speed of light to get it from him. 

michiganprof

January 27th, 2011 at 9:08 PM ^

from that school in Montréal. I can't remember the name of one of them offhand - he was a phenomenally physically gifted kid at DE who never quite seemed to get it completely together but showed amazing stuff at moments. In particular I remember him taking a fumble away from Rex Grossmann in the Citrus Bowl against the Gatorzooks. The shotgun snap got behind Grossmann and this DE seemed to move at the speed of light to get it from him. 

Irish

January 27th, 2011 at 8:54 PM ^

They do but most international recruits play a different kind of football.  MSU has a recruit from canada committed, Werner went to FSU last year, from germany I think.  There are others

KrisGoBlue

January 27th, 2011 at 9:03 PM ^

I think in the next 10 years, you'll see a major jump, in international kids, capable of playing division 1 football. There are so many leagues, and camps, and schools that are now running American Football programs, from Europe to Asia. It's the fastest growing sport in the world. It's only a matter of time, before kids around the world, improve in this sport, like they did in basketball, and even baseball. I for one hope to see it, an extended recruiting map, would only have benefits for this football program.

MGolem

January 27th, 2011 at 9:15 PM ^

Visiting a Danish friend (who lives in London) and he is a huge NFL fan. He said there are a lot more like him out there and he said he knows younger kids who are playing American football growing up. Sebastian Vollmer did not start playing football until he was 14 (in Germany) but came to the US as part of a global tournament and got recruited to Houston (for those who don't know he is the starting right tackle for the Patriots).

winged helmet

January 27th, 2011 at 9:26 PM ^

As great as this would be, kids in favelas do not have the prior education to be admitted or to be successful at an American university, let alone UM. It's unfortunate. It could be an incredible academic opportunity for these students.

AnthonyThomas

January 27th, 2011 at 9:31 PM ^

Alabama has a DT commited who's originally from Australia. He's only played a few seasons.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/michigan/football/recruiting/player-Jesse-Willi…

http://michigan.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1141429

There are certain positions where athleticism/instincts can trump expereince. You'll find multiple Americans who've only played football for a few years and become good enough to receive D-1 offers. It's just about getting other countries interested and finding coaches that are willing to take chances on those kids.

And anyone living in a favela in Rio isn't going to have the academic record to get into community college, let alone Michigan. That's another huge obstacle in recruiting developing nations.

dennisblundon

January 28th, 2011 at 7:52 AM ^

The good news for these kids is that the SEC is also a developing nation. You know one of those coaches can find a loop hole and work one of these kids into the school through a foreign exchange program. Also Andy Katz. and Clarett stayed eligible at OSU, these kids have a pretty good chance of doing the same.

dnak438

January 27th, 2011 at 11:02 PM ^

I lived in Texas for 10 years, and I live in Canada now.  Both don't want to be part of the US, both are (one in actuality, the other basically is).

Seriously, though, I think that it's a question of resources.  College football programs don't have unlimited resources when it comes to recruiting, so it makes more sense developing relationships with pipeline schools than sending scouts to Brazil to look for potential football talent.

inshallah

January 27th, 2011 at 10:41 PM ^

I play university football ( the proper kind!) here in the UK and the sport is becoming more and more popular. As a team I think any non-US team would be dominated by a good American HS team. However, there are players here who have the attributes, character, work ethic and grades to play college football. There are 1 or 2 guys who have made practice squads of NFL teams. My program has a good link with Endicot College (D3) and 2 seasons ago, some 12 of their graduating seniors came over for a week. It was a great experience and their standard doesnt seem too far some of our top players. But the players in the UK don't have the top flight coaching (all coaches have other fulltime jobs) that is available in the US and have a much higher ceiling. My teams RB at the moment is one of the best in the league/country and I would say he would be able to compete for some playing time at a non-AQ school. Unfortunately there are not really any opportunities to take the talents from here to the US