Australia’s Adam Gotsis Made The Cut And Will Play For The Denver Broncos

Nick Groke of the Denver Post perhaps said it best when commenting on Australian rookie defensive end Adam Gotsis’s performance in the Denver Broncos final preseason game of 2016 against the Arizona Cardinals:

“Adam Gotsis was beastly at defensive end…”

Gotsis, along with seven other rookies, made the cut Saturday when the Broncos pared down to the 53 man roster limit in preparation for the first regular season game of the year September 8 against their Super Bowl 50 opponent the Carolina Panthers.

In the game against the Cardinals, Gotsis got the start and played roughly three quarters of the game including the entire first half. It seems he lived up to the coaching staff’s expectations although not everyone was singing his praises.

Andrew Mason, senior digital reporter for the Denver Broncos, was slightly less effusive:

“Gotsis continues to get back to form after his torn ACL last year; he will be worked into the rotation, but remains a work in progress.”

Nevertheless, Gotsis, a 6-foot-4½-inch, 287-pound defensive lineman, continues the almost fairy tale journey he started in a country that was barely aware of American football a few years ago. In fact, Gotsis has played four more years of Australian Rules Football than American football.

Gotsis, who became a four-year letterman at Georgia Tech with 37 starts and was drafted by the Broncos 63rd overall in the 2016 Draft, discovered the game playing Madden football. Then he got hooked after watching the 2006 Rose Bowl between Texas and Southern California.

He moved to the United States after a recommendation by his coach in Australia, Paul Manera, who who passed along Gotsis’ name and information to Tech head coach Paul Johnson. Immediately, Johnson took a liking to Gotsis’ quick feet; he saw him as a perfect tackle for the triple-option offense the Yellow Jackets run. A scholarship offer followed.

Manera, who played for the University of Hawaii and who now works with Gridiron Australia, coached Gotsis in Australia and knew he had something special in him:

“His mum found a brochure to play Gridiron for his local club the, Monash Warriors. So then I got him involved in the Down Under Bowl where I got to coach him.

I recommended him to the IFAF World Under 19’s Development Team for 2011 and he just missed out on making the final roster.

During that time he and his mum made a couple of trips up to Sydney and we timed him in the 40 and did some sessions together. Then on his 2nd trip up we made up a little video of him doing some offensive lineman footwork drills and we sent it to Georgia Tech.

Mike Sewak the offensive line coach at Georgia Tech was also one of my offensive line coaches at Hawaii. Mike looked at the video and also showed it to Paul Johnson, the head coach at GT.

Paul had helped me try out for Itawamba community college in Mississippi and then given me a scholarship to Hawaii. Coach Johnson and Sewak offered Adam a recruiting trip to Atlanta and they offered him a scholarship on his recruiting trip.

Adam committed to Georgia Tech and he has not looked back. Amazingly enough, Adam did not even get redshirted and was a 4 year letterman at Georgia Tech with 37 starts.

Adam also played for the Australian Outback in the 2011 IFAF World Championships in Austria and was nice enough to come to Ohio to hang out with the Outback players at the last world cup in Ohio. He is a great guy and deserves everything he has worked for.”

No matter how Adam Gotsis’s NFL career unfolds, he will serve as an inspiration for all the players around the world who practice on dirt fields and scrounge for equipment while trying to catch a glimpse of an NFL game on the Internet.

Other Australians playing in the NFL

Fellow Australian, Cameron Edwards, a rookie punter from Sam Houston State, also survived the cut and has made the New York Jets 53 man roster. Australian punter Jordan Berry will enter his third season with the Pittsburgh Steelers as will punter Brad Wing with the New York Giants.

Dennver Broncos roster announcement

Read more about Adam Gotsis here.

Roger Kelly
Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.
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