ELF: Leipzig Kings add All-Star linebacker AJ Wentland

The Leipzig Kings of the European League of Football have signed veteran linebacker AJ Wentland.

The former NCAA All-American commented on his reasoning for joining the Kings in the ELF:

“I like how professionally the European League of Football is ran and the NFL rules are appealing since I have always played NCAA rules in my professional career”

The 6’3″, 225-pound native of Rockford, Illinois native was last seen hoisting the German Bowl championship trophy as a key member of the Dresden Monarchs defense. After playing helping the Swarco Raiders win another championship in Austria, Wentland returned to Dresden at the tail end of the last season. The late addition paid off, as he made 19 tackles, four tackles for a loss, and two sacks as the Monarchs won their first-ever German Bowl title.

The 2021 German and Austrian Bowl champion first began his international career with the Monarchs back in 2018. Wentland quickly became the German Football League’s most productive linebacker making a league-leading 206 and 205 total tackles in the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Wentland’s record-breaking play earned him All-Star honors both seasons. The experienced defender looks to bring the same energy and production onto the field in Leipzig this season:

““My goals in 2022 are to be one of the best defensive players in Europe, and to help my team to have the best defense in the league.” He added: “The fans can expect a high-motor player with a lot of energy that plays sideline to sideline on the field.”

Following the German Football League’s 2020 season cancellation, Wentland joined the Kuopio Steelers in Finland. As a member of the Steelers defense, Wentland made 36.5 tackles, four and half tackles for a loss, and one sack. The former GFL All-Star’s play helped Kuopio win its first Maple Bowl championship. His play in Finland earned him AllPandemic team honors.

Before coming to Europe, Wentland was a standout two-time All-American linebacker with the McKendree University Bearcats (NCAA, Division II) where he was also a three-time All GLVC (Great Lakes Valley Conference) linebacker. Over three years he amassed a total of 412 tackles including 145 in 11 games in his senior year, 2017. He also had two touchdowns, three interceptions, and six forced fumbles.

The three-time champion now joins a Leipzig team looking to contend for the title in the upcoming ELF season. Wentland joins veteran running back David McCants and quarterback Michael Birdsong as the team’s three Americans signed so far. Head coach Fred Armstrong is excited to have a defender with a pedigree like Wentland:

“Everyone in Europe knows AJ [Wentland] has dominated play at the LB position in every country he has played in. We made a pact to build the best defense in our North Conference. His impact in our locker room and on game day will help the Kings toward that goal. Class act on and off the field.”

Read more about AJ Wentland’s return to Dresden here.

Read more about Wentland’s season in Austria here.

Watch AJ Wentland’s highlights here:

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