Nine athletes from eight countries will compete for a spot in the 2020 International Player Pathway Program, the NFL announced yesterday.
Instituted in 2017, the program aims to provide elite international athletes the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills, and ultimately earn a spot on an NFL roster.
The league has identified top athletes from eight countries that will compete for a place in the program.
Given the program’s success to date, the NFL widened its search for international talent, hosting a Combine in Germany this past October with players from 18 countries participating.
Isaac Alarcon (Mexico), Otavio Amorim (Brazil), David Bada (Germany), Leo Krafft (Norway), Boqiao Li (China), Chris Mulumba (Finland), Sandro Platzgummer (Austria), Antoni Podgorski (Poland) and Bernhard Seikovits (Austria) will begin training in the United States next month and will have the opportunity to showcase their talents to NFL club scouts in March in hopes of being signed as a free agent or being selected for a practice squad position for next season through the International Player Pathway Program.
One of the NFL’s eight divisions, to be chosen at random, will receive the international players selected for the 2020 program should they not be signed to free agent contracts. At the conclusion of training camp, each player will be eligible for an international player practice squad exemption with his assigned team. This provides the assigned team an eleventh practice squad member who is ineligible to be activated during the season.
Players will train alongside NFL veterans and draft hopefuls in Florida.
“The International Player Pathway program is an important part of our ongoing efforts to grow the game globally and provide pathways for international players to make it to the NFL,” said Damani Leech, NFL Chief Operating Officer of International.
“We are excited to have players from around the world competing for a spot in the 2020 program, including eight players who were selected after participating in the International Combine in Germany this past October.”
Players taking part in the program:
Player Country Current Team
Isaac Alarcon Mexico Tec Monterrey Borregos
Otavio Amorim Brazil Timbo-Rex
David Bada Germany Schwabisch Hall Unicorns
Leo Krafft Norway Eidsvoll 1814s
Boqiao Li China n/a
Chris Mulumba Finland n/a
Sandro Platzgummer Austria Swarco Raiders Tirol
Antoni Podgorski Poland Warsaw Mets
Bernhard Seikovits Austria Dacia Vienna Vikings