Few stories captured the imagination in the 2016 NFL Draft like that of Moritz Böhringer, the wide receiver from Germany who, in the space of a few weeks, went from unknown amateur player to being chosen by his favourite team, the Minnesota Vikings, in the sixth round.
The training programme that catapulted “MoBo” to international fame, NFL Undiscovered, launches again in Florida this month, with NFL International coaches, led by Aden Durde and double Super Bowl winner Osi Umenyiora, working with a small group of international players to prepare them for the attention of NFL scouts.
There is an opportunity to earn a place on the programme, offering someone the chance to follow the path trodden last year by Böhringer and French wide receiver Anthony Dable, who signed as a free agent for the New York Giants and has now signed for the Atlanta Falcons.
“We have already proved that this can be a life-changing experience,”
Said former NFL and NFL Europe player Durde, who has coached with the Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons. “We are ready to start work with a small group of players with a view to preparing them to showcase their skills for NFL scouts and coaches at Pro Days, and we still have room for the right athlete.”
London-born Umenyiora, who won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants despite his late start in the sport, added: “By this time last year, we had not yet started working with Moritz, so there is still plenty of time for someone to make their dream come true. We know that sometimes there is incredible talent out there that goes undiscovered because they have never been in the right place at the right time and given the right opportunity. We aim to give someone that chance.”
This year’s NFL Undiscovered group will be training at a facility in Florida over the next two months, alongside leading college players preparing for the NFL Draft on April 27-29 and established NFL veterans working on their skills in the offseason. “It is an incredible environment,” said Umenyiora. “Young players can’t help but improve as they work with these guys. Everyone is out to help each other, there is a real feeling of camaraderie and the work is intense.”
Böhringer’s selection by the Vikings last year made him the first player ever to be drafted directly from European football without having played football in the US college system. Having got into the sport by watching YouTube videos, he impressed NFL scouts with his speed, physique, skills and football intelligence.“I thought someone was having a joke with me when I was contacted by NFL International to go and work out with them in Florida and I could never have dreamed what it would lead to,” he said. “It was pretty amazing to end up as a teammate of someone like Adrian Peterson, who I had grown up watching videos of.”
“I thought someone was having a joke with me when I was contacted by NFL International to go and work out with them in Florida and I could never have dreamed what it would lead to”
Böhringer went on to say, “It was pretty amazing to end up as a teammate of someone like Adrian Peterson, who I had grown up watching videos of.”
Who is eligible for NFL Undiscovered?
- Applicants must be aged 24 or under, cannot have played American football at a US college and must have been out of high school (or equivalent) for at least four years.
- Experience of playing American football is desirable but not essential.
- English language is essential because of the short timeframe being worked to.
- US and Canadian citizens are not eligible.
- Applicants must be available and eligible to travel to the US for two months from the beginning of March.
How to apply for NFL Undiscovered:
Applicants should send the following material to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Film of the applicant undertaking vertical jump, box jump, timed 40-yard dash.
- Links to any relevant footage – e.g. workouts, football film or other sports footage.
- Details of age, height and weight.
- Full contact details.
Applications must be submitted by midnight UK time on Sunday, 5 March.
Watch all the episodes of last year’s ‘NFL Undiscovered’ to see what lies in store…..