Leipzig Kings 6′ 10″ Max Bruder gets a taste of NFL air

Leipzig Kings send quartet to the NFL European Combine in London – 6’10” man learned sport with local Leipzig Lions team

LEIPZIG: Four players from the Leipzig Kings will compete at the NFL European Combine in London. With Lance Leota (New Zealand), Yoshihito Omi (Japan) and Aslan Zetterberg (Sweden), three international players are flying to the British capital for the evaluation course – the quartet is completed by Max Bruder, a real “homeboy” from Leipzig.

Max Bruder is impossible to miss: At a huge 6’10” meters tall, he towers over all his already very tall teammates on the Leipzig Kings’ European League of Football team by at least a head.

“It’s true – my height is something you can’t coach,” the 23-year-old can correctly assess his physical attributes. But the offensive lineman is modest and realistic: “I know that my athletic stats are not yet up to what National Football League scouts expect. I also told the league representatives that on the phone. However, my honesty was received very positively.”

In London, the NFL will be sifting through the best 50 young players in Europe starting Oct. 12, with the top players advancing to a second round. The winners of the second round enter the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program (IPPP), with the chance of a place on training reserve or in the lineup of an NFL team. The current prime example is Jakob Johnson from Stuttgart, who is currently playing in his second season as a ball carrier for the multiple Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

Photo: Imago Image

Comparisons with Jordan Mailata, the 6’8″ tall tackle of the Philadelphia Eagles, come to mind with Max Bruder. However, the Australian weighs a whopping 365 pounds in the NFL. With his current weight of 300 pounds, Bruder knows he needs to add some bulk to be a starter in the ELF or even the National Football League. Daily weight training in the gym is mandatory for the young Saxon, as is proper nutrition. A personal trainer takes care of healthy weight gain and consistent muscle growth.

The Saxon football player knows that he still has a lot of training ahead of him. He realistically sees the European Combine as his first point of contact with the world’s biggest and most popular football league and wants to get his first taste of NFL air there.

“It’s incredible that I was considered for the European Combine, that I’m now on the radar of the top football league in the world. I’m over the moon!”

Besides the three internationals, Max Bruder is the only Kings representative who was born in Leipzig and learned the sport of football at the local club, the Leipzig Lions:

“I started playing flag football there in 2008, then switched to tackle football in 2015. Two years later, in 2017, I was called up to the junior national team, then in 2018 I made the Leipzig Lions’ first team.”

However, a desired move to a college team in the U.S. has not materialized but now makes him available for the IPPP.

Photo: Jette Eisenträger

The squad spot with the Leipzig Kings in the ELF also acted as a catalyst for the young Leipzig native. However, Bruder’s recent career leap would not have been possible without the bosses at his employer Volkssolidarität Leipzig:

“I work as a trained kindergarten teacher, a responsible profession. My two supervisors were so incredibly friendly and cooperative, they even rewrote the rosters for me so I could consistently attend Kings training and away games.”

Above all, Bruder wants to make himself, his teammates, and his family proud:

“My mother Simone and my brother Marcel are totally ecstatic, as is my girlfriend Antonia. They all had to give up a lot of time together for me, I’m incredibly grateful to them.”

He also thanks his coaches and support staff at the Lions and Leipzig Kings:

“Kings head coach Fred Armstrong and my offensive line coach Gerrit Meister, gave me the chance to compete in the ELF. They both made me better in practice and in the game – as did our defensive coordinator Joe Bommarito. He took me aside a lot and explained a lot of tricks that I’ll desperately need when playing against the best defensive linemen.”

By Frank Schmiedel

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