Introducing the European League of Football’s Rookie Quarterbacks – Eastern Conference

The European League of Football’s fourth season is only less than a month away, as 17 teams from nine counties will be battling for the ELF championship game on September 22nd.

This season will feature arguably the league’s most talented group of quarterbacks yet, as most of the league’s top passers return, along with nine new starting quarterbacks.

Let’s take a look at the exciting new talent behind center entering the European League of Football this season continuing with the Eastern Division which will feature four quarterbacks that are new to the ELF for the Wroclaw Panthers, Vienna Vikings, Prague Lions, and Fehérvár Enthroners. The lone quarterback with ELF experience in the Eastern Conference will be Berlin Thunder’s Jakeb Sullivan who moved from Frankfurt to the German capital this off-season.

Steven Duncan – Wroclaw Panthers 

At 6’6 and 250-pounds Duncan is literally and figuratively a massive signing as the new starting quarterback for the Wroclaw Panthers. The largest quarterback in the ELF comes to Poland after a dominant season in the German Football League throwing for video games-like numbers to the tune of 4,703 and 58 touchdowns with the Dresden Monarchs.

Before coming to Europe in 2023, Duncan spent his last two college seasons with the Tarleton State Texans (NCAA DI FCS) where he threw for 4,047 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions in 18 games.

Now he and offensive guru and head coach Dave Christensen are hoping to take the Panthers to their first-ever ELF championship game this fall, as Duncan is one of several new intriguing talents in Wroclaw this season.

Ben Holmes – Vienna Vikings

Vienna’s new starting quarterback is a veteran of the pro game, after winning the CFL’s Grey Cup in 2022 as a backup quarterback with the Toronto Argonauts. The 29-year-old passer was also the fourth overall pick in the USFL draft in 2022 but was injured and eventually moved to the Canadian Football League.

The 6’0 upstate New York native is another ELF quarterback at Tarleton State (NCAA DI FCS), where he led the team to a 23–2 record. As a senior in 2019, Holmes threw for 34 touchdowns and only three interceptions.

Holmes joins longtime head coach Chris Calaycay in Vienna as the 2022 ELF champion Vikings have high hopes for the 2024 season and hope to achieve two titles in three seasons. 

Kare Lyles – Prague Lions

Lyles leads the Prague Lions into a new era from behind center. The 25-year-old Arizona native played last season for the New Yorker Lions Braunschweig of the German Football League throwing for 23 touchdowns and 1,745 yards in 11 games.

The pocket-passer spent time at several colleges before coming to Europe, playing for Deion Sanders or ‘Coach Prime’ at Jackson State University (NCAA DI FCS), as well as Southern Illinois University (NCAA DI FCS) where he threw for 1,569 yards, 12 touchdowns during the 2019 season. He also played one season for the Big Ten’s Wisconsin Badgers as a backup after high school.

Away from the field, Lyles previously worked for the NFL as a production assistant. Lyles along with several new players in Prague intend to help the team rebrand itself on and off the field for the 2024 season. 

Jack Mangel – Fehérvár Enthroners

The 24-year-old quarterback comes to Europe after an All-American college career for the Concord University Mountain Lions throwing for over 9,000 passing yards and a school record 81 touchdowns in three seasons as the starter. In his senior season in 2022, Mangel threw for a career-best 3,667 yards and 39 touchdowns in 11 games.  

Expect Mangel to target former ELF all-star receiver Nathaniel Robitaille this season as Hungary’s ELF team enters its second season in the league. The 6’4 pocket passer from Georgia is eager to help the Enthroners improve on their 3-9 2023 record.

Stay tuned for the rest of the ELF’s rookie quarterbacks this week!

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