The US remains the best place for football prospects, but the sport is growing outside the country and all over the world, and more athletes than ever are getting into the game. Europe in particular is seeing more players than ever reach the NFL, with the league’s outreach over the past few years proving to have a big effect. As we’ve seen with recent international NFL games, football now has a big presence in the UK, Germany, and Mexico. Despite not being the most popular option in these countries, there are a growing number of people who are playing the sport as well as watching it.
While players from outside North America have occasionally featured in the NFL, the percentage has always been incredibly low. Compared to other professional leagues such as the NBA or MLB, this could definitely improve. Right now there are only nine players born outside the US in the half of fame, but we expect this to increase over the next few decades as more people from all over the world get into the sport.
This year, there are loads of great prospects from outside the US playing at top colleges around the country. We’ve made this list of the best prospects for 2023. You can find the latest college football and NFL odds at Betway.
Jeffrey M’Ba is one of the most highly-recruited prospects in America, attracting 30 offers since arriving on the Junior College scene at Independence C.C. in Kansas. Born in Gabon, M’Ba grew up in France and began playing football at a late age. Although he didn’t know the rules for his first few games, he worked hard to get better and listened intently to his coaches to become the number one junior college player in the country.
At 6’6” and 300 lbs, M’Ba certainly has the physical attributes to be a top player and he’s incredibly talented at playing just about every position on the defensive front. While playing at Independence C.C., he recorded 50 tackles and 15 TFL in two seasons and has the tools to be one of the best players from outside the US within a few seasons if he keeps developing.
Finnish athletes tend to focus on hockey, but Alinen changed his focus to basketball and then football as he got older. His dad played for Berlin in NFL Europe and actually spent a year at the Atlanta Falcons for their practice squad. Olaus will be looking to go one better than his father and is currently committed to Alabama.
This 6’7” and 315 lb offensive lineman has excellent positional versatility and has played in the United States for some time, giving him the skills needed to excel. Alinen combines high strength with athleticism and has the potential to be a mid-round NFL draft but can keep improving as he’s still young.
Simmons was born and raised in Sweden where he played a variety of different sports from a young age. Although he excelled at handball, floorball, soccer, and basketball, he eventually got into football due to his size and athleticism. At 6’8” and 300 lbs, he has the potential to be a top-rated offensive tackle in the NFL if he keeps developing.
Simmons spent his junior season at Clearwater Academy International and has now committed to Florida State for college football. He’s an incredibly unique offensive prospect due to his measurements, but he still has a lot of things to work on during college football if he wants to be one of the top draft picks in the NFL.