American football is one of the sports that we least expect to see British athletes succeed in. This typical game from the US has never reached the same levels of popularity in the UK that it has on the other side of the Atlantic.
Yet, there are some British-born players who have managed to make a solid career out of playing this sport. The following are some of those who have carved out a good career after crossing the ocean to play football.
Jack Crawford – Atlanta Falcons
London-born Crawford went to school with Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe at City of London School before moving to the States in 2005. He had hoped to become an NBA star but turned to football when transfer rules stopped him from playing basketball.
His college football was played at Penn State and he was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 2012. After a spell with the Dallas Cowboys, Crawford joined the Atlanta Falcons on a 3-year contract in 2017 and enjoyed a highly successful start to his time there.
Playing as a defensive tackle, he impressed in the 2018 season with a total of six sacks. His coaches at the Falcons called him an “awesome guy” and it seems as though he has a good career ahead of him.
Josh Mauro – Oakland Raiders
Mauro was born in St Albans, England but played college football in Stanford after moving to the US. The popularity of college football in the US means that this level of the sport is keenly followed by fans and Mauro impressed enough to get him name onto some of the lists of the most promising college players.
His career as a tight end saw him first sign up for the Pittsburgh Steelers when he signed as an undrafted free agent. Having been released by the Steelers, Mauro joined the Arizona Cardinals and played his first season for them in 2014.
He left the Cardinals in 2018 and joined the New York Giants, where he got caught up in some controversy over the use of performance-enhancing substances. In 2019, he joined the Oakland Raiders to team up again with coach Brentson Buckner.
Jermaine Eluemunor – New England Patriots
Born in Chalk Farm, London to a Nigerian/English family, Eluemunor moved across the Atlantic at the age of 14. He played rugby and cricket as a youngster in the UK but says that he started to follow American football games too.
Upon his arrival in the US, Eluemunor played with Morris Knolls High School in New Jersey and was also successful at wrestling. After returning briefly to the UK, he went Texas A&M to play his college football before being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2017 draft. He made it into the PFWA All-Rookie team and was promoted to the active roster in 2019 before moving to the Patriots the same year.
Previous British-Born Football Stars
These success stories show us that it is possible to make the move from the UK to play pro football in the US. In fact, there have been other athletes who made the same journey across the Atlantic to the NFL in the past.
The best-known of these include Menelik Watson, who moved from Manchester to play for the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos. Another who fits this category is Tim Shaw from Exeter, who turned out for the Chicago Bears and the Caroline Panthers, among others.
With American football receiving more coverage in the UK thanks to the NFL London Games, it is likely that even more promising British athletes turn their attention to the NFL in the future.
If you are an English fella and you follow the NFL, play your odds well and bet on the current season. BetAmerica has the best odds and you can also bet on soccer, tennis and much more.