ELF: Well traveled LB Nikolas Knoblauch signs with Stuttgart Surge

The Stuttgart Surge have announced the signing of, arguably, the busiest man in football, German-Italian linebacker Nikolas Knoblauch.

Currently playing for the Fuengirola Potros in the Spanish American Football League, Knoblauch will pack his bags as soon as the season ends in Spain in early May, and head to Germany to join the Stuttgart Surge of the European League of Football.

There is not much doubt that Knoblauch has been the most well-traveled player in Europe over the past half decade. In fact, he has averaged two to three teams a year for the past several seasons and excelled in every one.

Last season, 2021, was no exception as the 27-year-old is coming off another typical Knoblauch year having played for four different teams in four different countries, winning three separate championships. The native of Böhmenkirch, Germany started off the 2021 season helping the Badalona Dracs capture the Spanish crown and then headed to Sweden to play for the Stockholm Mean Machines who reached the Swedish title game with Knoblauch patrolling the line of scrimmage. The eventual European League of Football champions, the Frankfurt Galaxy signed him for their title run and then Norway’s Oslo Vikings came calling, and Knoblauch was part of the Vikings fifth straight Norwegian championship team.

The 2020 season, although shortened due to the pandemic, saw the 5’10′, 215-pound linebacker also on the field for multiple teams. He had originally signed to play for the Milano Seaman (Italy) for the 2020 season before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down Italy’s season. Soon after though, Knoblauch was in Denmark playing for the Triangle Razorbacks. While in Denmark, the former Schwäbisch Hall Unicorn made his presence felt as he recorded highlight reel hits during the season, while also filling in at running back for the Razorbacks. He was named Danish National League All-Star for his performance at linebacker during the shortened season. Due to new Covid-19 restrictions the Danish National League canceled its playoffs, so Knoblauch went north to Sweden where the Örebro Black Knights signed him midway through their season COVID-19 delayed and shortened season.

Prior to this, from 2016 through 2019, Knoblauch was part of the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns historic run of four straight German Bowl appearances and two championships. In 2018, after a phenomenal German Bowl performance that included a fumble recovery touchdown, he was named German Bowl MVP.

During that stretch with the Unicorns, when Knoblauch was a vital part of one of the best defenses in the German Football League, he also found time to play the 2018 season in Italy with the Ancona Dolphins, leading the league with 81 tackles. He was also a key part of the Team Italy defense in an upset win over Austria in the European Championship semifinals in 2019.

Highlights from 2020 season in Denmark and Sweden

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