Massive German DL Yilanan Ouattara commits to Vanderbilt University

Yilanan Ouattara of Germany announced his commitment on Twitter yesterday, joining the Vanderbilt Commodores of the South Eastern Conference (SEC). The 6’6″, 275-pound lineman made his decision following a visit to the Vanderbilt campus in Nashville, Tennessee:

“It is a great academic university with a new, but experienced coaching staff that wants to bring a winning culture to the program,” Ouattara said when he received the offer, per Weinstein.

Ouattara is rated by 247sports as a three-star prospect, the Cologne native also received an offer from SEC rival Ole Miss. Seen as a versatile prospect, Ouattara was recruited by the Rebels as an offensive lineman according to Robbie Weinstein of

The European prospect has yet to play football in the US and has only been playing the game for three seasons. However, he has been part of an excellent youth program in the Cologne Crocodiles. As part of the Crocodiles, Ouattara has been on one of Germany’s top team’s youth teams taking home the U19 national championship this fall.  Like many European’s Ouattara found American football in his late teens:

“I started playing football in early 2019. A friend of mine, who was already playing football at the time, talked me into coming in for a practice tryout, given that I was about 6-foot-5, 215 pounds at the time,” he explained. “It was pretty rough at first, not understanding the game, but with time, the game slowed down and I fell in love with it.” (via 247sports)

This past summer the massive lineman was part of Brandon Collier’s PPI tour, a group of international prospects making the rounds at various college camps throughout the middle of the summer. Ouattara’s ability to bend smoothly combined with his 6’6 frame impressed college coaches. Allen Trieu of 247 sports commented on the big man’s athleticism, versatility, and enormous upside:

“We saw German prospect Yilanan Ouattara in the summer at some camps and there is no doubt he looks the part at a lean 6-foot6 plus and 270 pounds. He is raw but athletic and has big upside. He has played a lot of defense on film but could project on offense also.

Ouattara joins international defensive lineman Darren Agu (UK) and fellow German Linus Zunk in Vanderbilt’s 2022 recruiting class. The addition of Ouattara adds versatility to a group of 22 commits eager to represent the Commodores in the SEC next fall. For NCAA coaches, Ouattara’s quick rise from unknown prospect to SEC commit could be a sign of Europe’s intriguing talent pool. 
Watch Ouattara’s highlights 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