Austria’s Mödling Rangers add defensive power, sign All American DB O’Neil Blake

The Mödling Rangers who play in the Austrian Football League, AFL, continue to bolster their roster with the addition of defensive back O’Neil Blake, former standout with Lenoir-Rhyne University.

Blake, 5’10”, 190 lb, born in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica but moved to Hickory, North Carolina, spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons with the Graz Giants in Austria, helping the team reach the Austrian final in 2016 and semifinals in 2017. While at  Lenoir-Rhyne (NCAA Div. II), he was a standout starting cornerback for three years and then moved into coaching for two years. In 2014, Blake was honored as an NCAA Division II All-American by the Beyond Sports Network, as well as with All-South Atlantic Conference honors.

American Football International asked O’Neil about the move and playing in Austria.

AFI: Why the move from the Graz Giants to the Rangers?

Blake: Honestly, I felt like a change of scenery/environment was needed and I also think the Rangers have the potential to compete with a few additions with other top teams in the league.

AFI: How do you think football has grown and developed in Europe?

Blake: I think the game is growing quite rapidly in Austria and in Europe in general. The is reflected in the caliber imports and coaches that are now involved in the game.

AFI: What do you bring to the Rangers?

Blake: Play making ability in all 3 phases of the game, experience, professionalism on and off the field and the ability to develop players within the organization.

The Rangers are entering their third season in Austria’s top division. They finished the previous two with identical 4-6 records.

Check out highlights from O’Neil Blake’s All American season at Lenoir-Rhyne

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