AFI’s All-Europe Team: Defensive Backs – Chaz Elder, Saarland Hurricanes

In 2013 during his freshman year playing for the University South Carolina (NCAA DI), Chaz Elder snagged his first collegiate interception against the then Mississippi State quarterback and current Dallas Cowboys signal caller, Dak Prescott. Eight years later he is considered one of the best defensive backs in Europe, and he’s not even an import, strictly speaking.

Elder played all five years of his eligibility at South Carolina at both corner and safety, seeing varied amounts of time on the field. After graduating in May 2017, he elected to join the military and was subsequently stationed at Kaiserslautern US military base in Germany, just a stone’s throw away from Saarland.

When the Saarland Hurricanes saw the quality of player they had in Chaz Elder, they could hardly believe their luck. The 6’2″, 200-pound rangy defender led the German Football League in 2021 with eight interceptions along with hard hitting and fearless downhill running when approaching the ball carrier.

But where the Hurricanes benefited most from Elder was his ability to lead. Saarland sported one of the best defenses in the league, which was all the more impressive considering they had been a GFL2 team the season before. This advance to the GFL was due, in no small part, to Elder.

Chaz Elder was a no-brainer at defensive back for the American Football International crew. And for as long as he remains at Kaiserslautern, he will remain one of the most sought-after defensive backs in Europe.


Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.