Munich Cowboys re-sign star LB Ryan Newell for the 2018 season

The Munich Cowboys have re-signed Ryan Newell, one of the finest linebackers in Germany, for the 2018 season

Newell was the fifth leading tackler in the German Football League in 2017 with 121 tackles despite missing a couple of games due to injury. He had returned to the Cowboys in 2017 after two years away with the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes (2015) in Germany and Cineplexx Blue Devils (Austria, 2016). He led the German Football League in tackles three years in a row (2014, 2013 & 2012) amassing 513 total tackles in that three year span.

The 6’1″, 236 lb native of Lincoln, Nebraska starred at Peru State College (NAIA) where he also led his team in tackles.

American Football International asked Ryan about his experiences, both on and off the field, and his reasons for returning to the Munich Cowboys.

American Football International: You are returning to the Munich Cowboys for a 5th season. Why prompted you this year? You had been considering retirement.

Ryan Newell: Last season was very disappointing as far as wins and loses and I knew we were a much better team then what our record showed. I didn’t want to hang em up on such a bad year, so after discussing it with my fiance, Garren [Munich head coach] and the Cowboys organization I decided to play one more

AFI: How did you first sign up to play in Europe?

Newell: I got really lucky and my DC from college got the Head Coaching job in Munich and that’s how I got over here.

Ryan Newell making a tackle against the Frankfurt Universe in 2017 Photo: Munich Cowboys

AFI: Do you think the level of play in Europe and Germany has changed since you first played here?

Newell: Absolutely, the sport is extremely popular in Europe now with the NFL having games in London, kids going to the states for high school, and players being brought into NFL camps, the level of competition is much higher as a whole throughout all of Europe.

AFI: What does a player gain from playing in Europe?

Newell: There’s almost too much to list but you get to travel the world and play the sport you love while making a little bit of money doing it. The friendships and memories I’ve made over the years are priceless. Plus you get to be an ambassador for the game and spread your knowledge

AFI: Do you have any advice for players just starting on their European playing journey?

Newell: Take advantage of the opportunity if you get one to come to Europe, there are guys out there that may never get the opportunity to further their career and would kill for a chance to come over here. If you’re looking for teams keep up to date film and get on some of the recruiting websites like Europlayers and The Podyum. Keep training because you never know when something could come up!

Peru State Notes

While at Peru State, Newell played in 31 games from 2006-2009. Newell and his Bobcat teammates put together the best four-year mark under then head coach Terry Clark as they finished with 23-20 record while having three winning seasons.

Newell finished his four years with 203 total tackles – 65 of which were unassisted. He added 2.5 sacks for losses of 11.5 yards while also have 10 tackles for losses of 31.3 yards. Newell was credited with 5 pass break-ups, and 4 interceptions with 27 yards in return.

During his senior campaign, Newell earned Defensive Player of the Week twice and was named to the 2009 NAIA All-Independent First Team.

Check out Ryan’s highlights from 2014

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Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.