Germany: Düsseldorf Panther sign top DB Jacob Adelman

The Düsseldorf Panther, who are returning to the German Football League after a three year absence, have beefed up their defensive secondary in signing safety Jacob “Jake” Adelman who played for the Munich Cowboys in 2018.

The 6’2″, 205 lb, 25 year old native of Bakersfield, California was one of the anchors of the Cowboys defense in 2018 with 59 tackles and a team-best six interceptions. While playing for the Hildesheim Invaders in 2017, he recorded 81 tackles while also snagging five interceptions, good for fifth in the GFL. He spent the 2016 season with Sweden’s Uppsala 86ers, helping the team reach the Swedish final for the first time in 19 years. He enjoyed a superb season with Uppsala recording 50 tackles in 10 games along with six interceptions and two touchdowns. He was one of the best kick returners in the Swedish Superserien last year with almost 1,000 yards in returns.

Adelman spent two years at Friends University in Kansas and attracted interest from the Houston Texans attending minicamp with the NFL squad in 2016.

American Football International asked him about his move to Dusseldorf and playing in Europe.

AFI: You are returning to Germany with the Dusseldorf Panther. Why the switch?

Adelman: The Switch from Munich to Düsseldorf was not easy but for personal reasons I needed to get back to the north. I left a great group a guys in Munich, lead by a great coach in Garren Holley. I look forward to the new challenge though with my new team. The GFL Nord is going to be very competitive this year.

AFI: What was the highlight of the season last year?

Adelman: The highlight of the season last year was definitely making the playoffs. It’s not an easy thing to do in Germany and helping the Munich cowboys get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2014 was a huge accomplishment.

AFI: This will be your fourth year in Europe. How much longer can you see yourself playing?

Adelman: My goal is to play until I’m at least 30, and right now I feel as healthy as I’ve been in my career. If all goes as planned I at least have another 4 years in me.

AFI: Where did you travel in Europe in 2018?

Adelman: 2018 was filled with a lot of adventures. From Dublin, Ireland on St Patrick’s Day, to Spain for my summer vacation, to Prague for Christmas, and to Vienna Austria for New Years. It was definitely one of the highlight years of my career in Europe so far.

AFI: How much has football changed in Europe since you first arrived?

Adelman: Football has changed drastically since I came into the league back in 2016. More athletes are aware of the opportunity now and I feel like over the years European American football has grown more and more each year. From a GFL standpoint, the sign with the CFL was big and hopefully that can help the game grow even more than it already has.

AFI: This is Dusseldorf’s return to the top league. What are you expecting?

Adelman: Düsseldorf is no stranger to the first league. I know the last time they were here it was not so good, but with John Leijten (Head Coach) and management, I believe the team is in very good hands. With the imports we have signed, and the German based players we have, I expect us to compete at a very high level and hopefully make a run for the playoffs.

AFI: Have you any favorite foods/dishes since coming to Europe?

Adelman: If I had to choose one German dish that I really enjoy it would be your typical bratwurst and pommes or a schnitzel.

Interested in playing American football overseas?

Register on

Europlayers is the largest online database of American football players, teams and coaches.  It is a connector, bringing together and introducing athletes to overseas teams. On the site you can begin researching teams around the world.  Once you create a profile, you become searchable by hundreds of American football clubs around the world.


American Football International is your source for news and updates about American Football outside the United States!