ELF: Wroclaw Panthers sign former Montreal Alouette DB/LB William James

The Wroclaw Panthers of the European League of Football have bolstered their defense with the signing of Swedish defensive back William James.

The European veteran joins the Panthers following a preseason stint with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.

James on joining the European League of Football’s lone Polish franchise:

“I can’t wait to be a part of one of the premier organizations for football in Europe. The Panther’s vision and hard work to earn everything they have is something that aligned with me.”

The 29-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 most recently played in Europe in 2020, suiting up for the Helsinki Wolverines and Uppsala 86ers, earning AFI All-Pandemic honors for his play. The year prior, 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 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.

James will see his first action ELF on August 15th as the Wroclaw Panthers will host the Frankfurt Galaxy. With only four games remaining in the regular season the addition of James is part of a series of late-season roster moves that the Panthers are hoping will give them a boost down the stretch.

Read more about James’s unconventional football path 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