Stuttgart Surge defensive back Marcel Dabo and Berlin Thunder defensive end Adedayo Odeleye make leap into the IPP

With Marcel Dabo and Adedayo Odeleye, the first ever players from the European League of Football will make the leap into the International Player Pathway Programm of the National Football League (NFL).

January 11, 2022
European League of Football
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Adedayo Odeleye and Marcel Dabo join the IPP to become NFL-athletes. ©Fiona Noever

Marcel Dabo and Adedayo Odeleye, players of the European League of Football franchises Stuttgart Surge and Berlin Thunder, receive an invitation to the International Player Pathway Program of the NFL (National Football League) in the USA. The 21-year-old defensive back and the 24-year-old defensive end are one of the few international players to receive the honor of a chance to earn acoveted spot on an NFL squad. The European League of Football is the league from which most athletes travel to the United States for the IPP.

"The League has helped me get the best possible exposure"

Marcel Dabo, who was not only selected to the European League of Football's All Star Team but also won the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, is optimistic. "I have taken the first step, there is still a long way to go to reach my goal, but through the European League of Football I have created a good basis for it. The league has helped me get the best possible exposure and is doing a great job there. I think I have the maturity to compete at that level. Getting into the NFL is a huge thing for any athlete in Europe," Marcel Dabo explained before joining the IPP program.

Before Marcel Dabo and Adedayo Odeleye, players such as Efe Obada or Jakob Johnson already managed to get a place in the IPP as European players and to be selected by a team in the NFL. Dabo, who was born in Reutlingen, convinced everyone involvedof his ability and talent: "When you see the enthusiasm with which he carries others along, you know exactly: this is extraordinary," Stuttgart Surge Head Coach Martin Hanselmann speaks with pride about his player.

Getting the deserved international attention

Patrick Esume, Commissioner of the European League of Football, is convinced that more players will make the step to the NFL in the coming years: "Anyone who has seen Marcel Dabo and Adedayo Odeleye in training and in the league knows what skills they both bring. It would have been crazy not to take them into the International Player Pathway program. We are very proud of both of them and hope more players will take this step."

Find the first reaction of Marcel Dabo on our Youtube-channel here:

Or watch the full portrait on MoreThanSportsTV on the 12th of January at 8:30 pm and later on our Youtube-channel.

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