About - NFL Academy
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The NFL Academy is a major global initiative by the NFL and it aims to provide full-time high-school education alongside intensive training in American football under the guidance of a world class coaching staff. This is a key pillar in the NFL’s investment in global football development and creating pathways for international talent.

The NFL Academy was launched in May 2019, and was initially housed at Barnet and Southgate College in North London. The final trial for that first intake of students was held at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – with the stadium converted to ‘NFL mode’ for the very first time.

Efe Obada and trialists at the Stadium Showcase in July 2019.

The program has been consistently supported by our UK ambassadors Efe Obada, Osi Umenyiora, Jason Bell and Christian Scotland-Williamson. Then there have been numerous visits from other NFL stars who have offered their support and insight including Jerry Rice, Juju Smith-Schuster and Russell Wilson.

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL Academy’s first competitive game wasn’t until Spring 2022 – taking place in Düsseldorf, Germany against the Düsseldorf Panther. The NFL Academy emerged victorious, and since then has been unbeaten against all European opposition.

The program moved to Loughborough in the summer of 2022 as it looked to further develop the academic and athletic offering through Loughborough College and the nearby Loughborough University. By operating at an elite athletic performance centre with a global reputation, combined with the excellent classroom offering, it gives the students the greatest chance of future achievement in all fields.

Powerbase Gym, Loughborough University

October 2022 saw the NFL Academy’s first game against American opposition with a narrow 26-14 loss to IMG Academy Varsity White at the Grove Hotel.

The games against American opposition expanded in this last season (2023-24) with three games, including a win in the rematch vs. IMG Academy Varsity White and a shutout of the then New York City Champions Erasmus Hall at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

NFL Academy 35 – 0 Erasmus Hall High School, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, 10 Oct 2023

The NFL Academy has provided multiple opportunities to help our students to be seen and recruited by American colleges. This includes camp visits in Washington, Baltimore, Texas, Georgia and North Carolina.

Since its inception more than 40 students have secured college football scholarships in the U.S with then more than 30 NFL Academy alumni will play college football in the 2024 – 2025 season, with 19 of those athletes playing in Division 1 college programs.

In April 2024, the NFL announced an expansion to the NFL Academy with a new campus opening up on the Gold Coast in Australia to predominantly serve the Asia-Pacific region.

Jordan Mailata, Australian NFL offensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles and alumni of the NFL’s
International Player Pathway (IPP) program, is an ambassador for the NFL Academy in Australia.

Jordan Mailata meeting the NFL Academy on their Spring Tour in 2022