AFI’s Top 4 International College/HS Players of the Week; from Denmark, Spain, Australia and Sweden/Brazil

In an attempt to bring more attention to the growing numbers of talented athletes from around the world who are taking their games abroad, every week, AFI will name their weekly International Players of the Week, for high school and college football, throughout the 2017 season.

Criteria: For 2017, we are searching for football players from, or citizens of countries outside of the the 50 United States, and Canada, who are playing football in the 50 United States or Canada.

How the AFI community can help: If you fit the criteria, or know someone who does, please pass on the name of the athlete, home country and current school. If you are a high school or college coach or SID, please keep send AFI statistical updates on your international students each week.

American Football International College Players of the Week: October 23-29, 2017

Five countries are represented in four spots in this week’s edition of AFI’s International Player of the Week:



Danish all-everything lineman, Hjalte Forholdt, helped the Arkansas offense to 38 points and a victory over Ole-Miss. Photo:

Arkansas offensive guard, Hjalte Forholdt (pictured above), helped the Razorback offense pound out 260 yards rushing and achieve their first SEC victory of the season, in a 38-37 win over Ole Miss. Forholdt, an Outland Trophy candidate, hails from Svenborg, Denmark.


Sioux Falls defensive end, Adria Botella poses with The Key to the City, awarded to the winner of the anual Sioux Falls – Augustana rivalry game.

The Barcelona Blocker struck again Saturday afternoon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. For the second time in as many weeks, University of Sioux Falls defensive end, Adria Botella, got one of his big, Spanish paws on a kick. This time the victim was an Augustana PAT attempt, that took place in a key moment early in the rivalry game, keeping the score at 10-6 and giving the Cougars some ‘’more than a field goal’’ breathing room. The senior from Barcelona also notched a tackle in the battle of cross-town rivals dubbed The Key to the City Game, which Sioux Falls won, 21-14.

Special Teams

James Stefanou was perfect this week for the University of Colorado. The Aussie kicker was spotless in five PAT attempts, and went 3-3 on field goals (long of 39) for the Buffaloes in their 44-28 win over Cal.

Australian kicker, James Stefanou (#48) had a lot to celebrate, scoring 14 points for the Buffalos in a win against Cal. Photo: Denver Post

High School

Have you heard the one about the Swedish guy and the Brazilian who walk into a football game in West Virginia? Spoiler: It’s the same guy. And he’s all over the field.

Swedish citizen, Carl Michael Nyh, who came to Linsly High School via his hometown of São Paulo, Brazil, ripped off 106 yards rushing in the Cadets’ 49-28 win over Warren (Ohio). The sophomore also went 7-7 on PATS for the squad out of Wheeling, West Virginia.

Who did we miss? Who do you know with a Player of the Week-worthy performance? Contact AFI to let us know the international athletes making a big impact on high school and college fields in North América.


Clayton Lovett has served football in Brasil in a variety of roles, including as the member of the coaching staff of two CBFA national champions (Cuiaba Arsenal 2010, 2012). Football is his hobby. Professionally, he is the founder of CS Educacional,