ELF: Leipzig Kings sign Swedish DB William James

The Leipzig Kings of the European League of Football have definitely added a boost to their defense with the signing of Swedish defensive back William James.

The European veteran joins the Kings after spending part of the 2021 season playing with the Wroclaw Panthers in the European League of Football. In four games, the defensive back recorded 35 tackles, one tackle for loss, two pass breakups, and two passes defended. James had signed with the Panthers following a preseason stint with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.

James is looking forward to the season:

“Excited about the opportunity to provide experience and leadership for a top tier organization like the Kings.”

The 30-year-old, 5’11”, 195-pound defender was drafted 31st overall by the Montreal Alouettes in the 2021 CFL Global Draft following an impressive combine showing and years of production at the European level. However, James did not make the final roster in Montreal.

The well-traveled Swede had most recently played in Europe prior to that in 2020, suiting up for the Helsinki Wolverines and Uppsala 86ers, earning AFI All-Pandemic honors for his play. The year before, the hard-hitting safety was playing rugby and working with racehorses in Australia.

From 2016 to 2018, James was a key fixture in the defensive secondary for the Dresden Monarchs in the German Football League, amassing a total of 313 tackles in three seasons. He began his football career with the Arlanda Jets in his home country of Sweden before deciding in 2011 that he wanted to give college football a try in the United States. He sent out letters to schools and the University of North Dakota allowed him to walk on. After two years he had earned a scholarship. James, who finished his career with the Fighting Hawks with a total of 103 tackles, started at safety off and on in the final two years of his career finally finding a more permanent spot on the team in his senior season.

Kings head coach Fred Armstrong is excited about the addition of James to his defense:

“The addition of William James to a secondary that includes Dion Henrique, Jonathan Dietze, and Shida Wang, will help a dangerous front 7 have the potential to be the best defense in our conference.”

Read more about James’s unconventional football path here

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