In an attempt to bring more attention to the growing numbers of talented athletes from around the world, who are taking their games abroad, AFI will name their weekly International Players of the Week, 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 send AFI statistical updates on your international students each week.
AFI Players of the Week: September 21-24, 2017
As we head into the new football weekend, we take a look back at international football players from Chile, Nigeria, Finland and Brazil who made big contributions on the football fields of the USA.
Auburn offensive lineman, Prince Tega Wanogho Jr., who was playing defensive end a year ago, helped anchor an explosive Auburn offense last week. The Nigerian-born left tackle and his 15th ranked Auburn teammates racked up 481 yards in a 51-14 blowout of Missouri.
Brazilian DB, Vinicius Pavoni (Curitiba Brown Spiders) racked up 9 tackles to go along with a pass break up, but his Grinnell Pioneers came up short against St. Norbert College, 66-13.
Add AFI’s International Player of the Week to Bryan Steinsapir’s list of awards from last week. The Chilean kicker also earned Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference special teamer of the week honors, for being high scorer of The Holy Grail Game, by banging home 43 and 34 yard field goals, and going 2-2 on PATs from the dirt infield of the Target Field baseball stadium, in fifth ranked University of St. Thomas’ win over rival St. John’s.
This Minnesota classic, also dubbed The Tommie-Johnnie Game, was moved to the home of Major League Baseball’s Minnesota Twins, to accommodate the NCAA Dvision III record 37,355 fans who packed the stadium near capacity to see the 87th meeting between the two schools.
Finland’s own Lammin Latikka, was perfect on his catch-to-touchdown ratio last week, as he ”Finnished” a 66-14 route of Rice Memorial with two catches for two scores and 35 yards. Lattika and his St. Johnsbury teammates remain Vermont’s top ranked team in the Burlington Free Press poll.
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.