ELF: Leipzig Kings re-sign All American & League-Leading LB AJ Wentland

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

New Leipzig head coach John Booker commented on bringing the former NCAA All-American back:

“AJ brings back a lot of defensive production for us. Equally important is the effect he has on his teammates. Securing this signature is a big step towards building our 2023 team. We are really excited to have “Captain” back,

The 6’3″, 225-pound native of Rockford, Illinois native led the European League of Football in tackles last season recording 160 in only 12 games. That impressive number also included three sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles, helping make the Kings defense sixth best in against the run.

In 2021, Wentland hoisted German Bowl championship trophy as a key member of the Dresden Monarchs defense. After helping the Swarco Raiders win another championship in Austria, Wentland returned to Dresden at the tail end of that 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.

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) selection. 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.

Wentland returns to Leipzig as their first official signing of the season. Wentland and new head coach John Booker will look to get the Kings in the playoff hunt next season after finishing 2022 on a high note.

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:

Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and