BUCS Player Spotlight: Jeremie Kwanzambi Beni’s football journey

From playing youth football in Birmingham to tearing it up at the highest level of British collegiate football in BUCS, Jeremie Kwanzambi Beni has quickly become one of the top running backs in the British American football scene.

The 5’10, 198 pound back is currently in his fourth season playing for SGS PRIDE, one of the premier football academies in Europe.

Through the first half of the season, which also saw him miss game time due to injury, Kwanzambi Beni has picked up an impressive 465 rushing yards with eight total touchdowns to his name.

Kwanzambi Beni hurdling a Portsmouth defender. Image courtesy of Charlotte Murden.

The elusive back has been one of, if not the most prominent weapon of the PRIDE offensive unit over their first three years in BUCS competition. Their first season saw him pick up 1,216 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns on their way to an undefeated Division 1 championship, earning promotion to the Premier division.

Prior to enrolling at SGS, Kwanzambi Beni played locally for the Birmingham Lions at the under-17 level. 

After finding his love for football at a young age, he joined the side at the age of 14, and it wasn’t long before he found success. The 2017 season saw the Lions earn their way to the Britbowl National Finals tournament as a young Kwanzambi Beni picked up offensive player of the year. His talent also earned him a spot on the Great Britain Lions Junior squad.

Kwanzambi Beni taking a handoff from QB Josh Allsebrook.

He would go on to be awarded OPOY again in 2018, while his squad would earn the title of Britbowl Plate Champions. In his lone year playing under-19 football in Birmingham, he helped take the Lions to the Britbowl semi-final as well as picking up OPOY for a third straight year as well as ‘Players’ Player of the Year’.

After the pandemic forced the 17 year-old off the gridiron for a short period of time, he returned by enrolling at the PRIDE in 2020.

Jeremie spoke to us about his journey in football and what the future may hold:

AFI: What can you tell us about your history in football and how it all began?

Kwanzambi Beni: It started in secondary school when one of my PE teachers said that I should pick up a sport since I wasn’t playing any at the time. A few days later, I saw a clip of Ezekiel Elliott in the Sugar bowl scoring the game sealing touchdown against Alabama, and thought it might be fun to play the sport. When I was finally old enough to play contact football I joined the Birmingham Lions youth team.

AFI: What made you want to take football more seriously and head to play for PRIDE?

Kwanzambi Beni: After my first season of football, I fell in love with the game and knew that at the time the best next step for me would be to play for PRIDE. However at the age of 16 my parents weren’t ready to let me move out to Bristol so as time went on SGS began offering university degrees and luckily in my area of interest so it was a no brainer to come and do my degree here while still being able to work on my craft at a high level.

AFI: Are there any coaches or players that stood out to you in your football journey and why?

Kwanzambi Beni: A coach that has stood out is Anthony Fitzpatrick at PRIDE by far. He doesn’t let you settle for average and he makes sure that the skills you learn in football such as discipline and hard work, apply in your outside life, because at the end of the day, we only play football for a certain amount of hours during the week. He has also been through so much and being able to witness his perseverance is motivating.

AFI: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career so far?

Kwanzambi Beni: During the Division 1 Championship I suffered an MCL injury and coming back from that was challenging in many different ways. It took a while for me to fully feel like myself again but I’m grateful to those around me for helping me not just get back to 100% but push me to become even better.

AFI: What was it like making the transition from playing Division 1 in PRIDE’s first year of BUCS to now facing teams like UWE, UoN and other strong squads littered with international talent?

Kwanzambi Beni: For me the transition wasn’t smooth as I’d hoped but as I continue to learn the game even deeper it’s good to be able to play against that high level of football which I would like to reach someday. Having that level of talent literally down the street from us is necessary for my growth and development as a football player.

AFI: What has been your proudest or most defining moment of your career so far?

Kwanzambi Beni: Being able to represent my country internationally for sure. Not everyone is able to say they played a sport for Great Britain and it’s definitely a proud moment that I will always hold onto.

AFI: What is your goal in football over the next few years?

Kwanzambi Beni: Over the next few years my goal is to play football in Europe and be able to climb up to the top of European football and play in the ELF.

AFI: Finally, how would you describe your play style? Is there someone you look up to?

Kwanzambi Beni: I wouldn’t say I have a particular play style. There are many different types of running backs I enjoy watching and try to implement the way they play into my game. A few to name would be 2016 Ezekiel Elliott, Le’veon Bell, Barry Sanders and Reggie Bush.


Jeremie and the PRIDE resume action on Saturday 3rd February as they pay a visit to a team close to home in the Birmingham University Lions.

A current student at Bournemouth University as well as a quarterback with eight years of playing experience. Brad's goal is to be a part of the growth of the game around the world through journalism and media.