THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
A new online campaign to find the football stars of the future who will join them for the 2020/21 academic year has been launched by the NFL Academy, in association with Nike and Barnet and Southgate College,
In light of the coronavirus situation, the NFL Academy has found a way to recruit its next intake with a brand-new digital format. Talented athletes are being given the chance to show their skills by filming themselves completing four NFL drills in speed, agility, strength and athleticism. Applicants can post their videos onto Instagram, tagging @NFLAcademy in the post and using #JoinNFLAcademy. Applications should also be sent to NFLAcademy.com/apply where you can also see an inspirational video. The deadline for submissions is July 19, 2020.
These videos will then be assessed by top coaches from the NFL Academy, including head coach Tony Allen. "We're asking athletes aged 16 to 18 to, within government guidelines and social distancing, to go to a park with someone from their household and film themselves completing the four drills that we've set,” said Coach Allen,
“The drills are recognised in our industry, similar to those used at the NFL combine, Coach Allen added. “Once these films have been sent to us, we'll sit down with our coaching staff, evaluate and rank the athletes. Selection will be made on the players’ athletic performance and open spots within the program roster. We're looking for athletes who are not only good players but good students as well; who are going to work hard both on and off the field. We know there is competition out there as we've had more than 500 athletes register their interest already, so we're excited to see what talent we can bring into the NFL Academy."
The NFL Academy, which began operations in September 2019, is a unique programme that offers a life-changing experience to young people through American football. Young athletes have an opportunity to continue in full-time education while develop their skills and knowledge of the game. Alongside elite coaching, athletes study courses of their choice at Barnet and Southgate College.
Tracey McIntosh, Executive Director of Partnerships and Commercial at Barnet and Southgate College said: “We’re the only UK College offering the NFL Academy programme and it joins a number of other sporting academies run by the College, highlighting our breadth of experience in delivering these dual programmes. It’s an excellent opportunity for young, aspiring American football players; giving them the unique chance to train and develop their skills and knowledge of the game whilst also completing a full-time education."
The NFL Academy is supported by some of the biggest names in the NFL including London-born two-time Super Bowl winner Osi Umenyiora and his colleague on BBC’s NFL coverage, Jason Bell. Ambassadors also include Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and NFL MVP and Super Bowl winner Patrick Mahomes; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster; British-born running back Jay Ajayi; Carolina Panthers’ London-raised defensive end Efe Obada; Baltimore Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell and England soccer captain and Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane.