AJ Wentland getting set for new season in German Football League


ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Football is at its peak right now, here in the United States, with Super Bowl Sunday drawing closer and the NCAA championship game having just been played. Football is also big in Europe and former Harlem Huskie Adrian ‘Aj’ Wentldand is a big star over there.

Wentland is a middle linebacker for the Dresden Monarchs of the top German Football League (GFL1). Its season runs from mid-April through mid-October. Two years ago as a rookie Wentland set a league record with 206 tackles. This past season he finished just short of that with 205 which still led the league. He also had 28 tackles for loss and seven sacks. He was the Monarch’s defensive MVP.

“We play a 3-4 so I’m the ‘Jack’ linebacker, so the strongside linebacker of the defense,” explained Wentland.

The last two years the Monarchs reached the semifinals in the playoffs…one step short of playing in the German Bowl.

“Hopefully this third year we can push past that and make it to the German Bowl and win the championship,” said Wentland. “That would be a dream of mine to be the champion.”

Yes, Wentland has already signed on for a third season with the Monarchs. At the moment he’s back home in Rockford for a month to spend time with his family. He continues to workout hitting the weights and running…building on his already impressive 6’3 235-pound frame.

Soon Wentland will head back to Germany to rejoin his teammates for more offseason conditioning. Each GFL team is allowed to have six true American players on its roster and up to six more dual-citizenship guys.

“They’re really picky with who they get as Americans,” said Wentland. “If you’re an American player they’re usually someone who is fresh out of the NFL or is really borderline close. to getting into the NFL.”

A shot at the NFL is something that Wentland still hopes will come his way.

“I think that it’s always a possibility. I think that I could definitely be a guy that runs down on special teams to at least be a backup player for a linebacker and maybe even squeak my way into a starting lineup.”

The new XFL that’s starting up in a couple of weeks is another possibility for Wentland in the future.

“I know a couple of guys who are getting the opportunity to go and it seems like a great opportunity. If I had the opportunity to do it I definitely would.”

For now, Wentland is more than happy to be a part of the Monarchs. They have not only allowed him to continue playing the sport he loves, but they have also given him the opportunity to explore Europe in his free time.

“I’ve been to London. I’ve been to Greece, Rome, Italy. I’ve been to France. Switzerland. It’s been amazing just to be able to see the world.”

Wentland graduated from Harlem in 2013. From there he went to Division II McKendree University where he was a first-team All-American, and he set the school record for tackles.

Read the original article by Scott Lever in My Stateline.

Feature image:  Ben Gierig Photography

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