he Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will host the NFL International Combine next month, as one of the league’s most important events in the search for global talent takes place for the first time in the UK.
Twelve British players are among fifty athletes invited to impress “NFL evaluators” in hopes of earning a spot on the league’s International Player Pathway, the program which has helped a number of foreign players, including the Briton Efe Obada, to forge a successful career in the NFL.
The NFL Combine is an annual event in the United States where top college prospects come together to perform physical and mental training in front of coaches and scouts ahead of the NFL Draft.
As of 2018, the league has also been running an international version of the Scouting Showcase for athletes from outside the United States, with the first edition held in Australia and the 2019 event hosted by Germany.
No International Combine took place last year amid the coronavirus pandemic but it is back on the agenda this season and slated for October 12, sandwiched between the two London Series games played at Spurs – Atlanta Falcons vs. New York Jets on October 10 and Jacksonville Jaguars against the Miami Dolphins on October 17.
While the majority of the invited players are from Europe, athletes from Japan, New Zealand and Nigeria were also offered the opportunity to participate. The league has announced that it will host a second international combine in Mexico later in October for all athletes unable to travel to the UK due to Covid restrictions.
A number of athletes will be selected from the combine to participate in a three-month training program in the United States as part of the IPP, before the best candidates are awarded to the NFL teams before the 2022 season, where they will fight for a spot on the roster.