NFL Academy launches virtual tryouts

The NFL Academy is calling on the next generation of star athletes to ‘show us your skills’ with a new virtual format

The NFL Academy, in association with Nike and Barnet and Southgate College, has today launched a new virtual campaign to find the next stars of the future to join them for the 2020/21 academic year.

In light of the current COVID-19 situation, the NFL Academy has found a unique way to recruit its next intake with a brand-new digital format. Talented athletes are being given the chance to show their skills by filming themselves completing four NFL drills in speed, agility, strength and athleticism. Once captured, videos will be posted by applicants onto Instagram, tagging @NFLAcademy in the post and using #JoinNFLAcademy. Applications should also be sent to

These videos will then be assessed by top coaches from the NFL Academy, including head coach Tony Allen.

“We’re asking athletes aged 16 to 18 to, within government guidelines and social distancing, to go to a park with someone from their household and film themselves completing the four drills that we’ve set.”

These drills are recognized in our industry, similar to those used at the NFL combine.

“Once these films have been sent to us, we’ll sit down with our coaching staff, evaluate and rank the athletes. Selection will be made on the players’ athletic performance and open spots within the program roster. We’re looking for athletes who are not only good players but good students as well; who are going to work hard both on and off the field. We know there is competition out there as we’ve had more than 500 athletes register their interest already, so we’re excited to see what talent we can bring into the NFL Academy.”

The NFL Academy, which began operations in September 2019, is a unique program that offers a life-changing experience to young people through American football. Young athletes have an opportunity to continue in full-time education while develop their skills and knowledge of the game. Alongside elite coaching, athletes study courses of their choice at Barnet and Southgate College.

Tracey McIntosh, Executive Director of Partnerships and Commercial at Barnet and Southgate College said:

“We’re proud to be working in partnership with the NFL on this great digital initiative during these unprecedented times. We’re the only UK College offering the NFL Academy programme and it joins a number of other sporting academies run by the College, highlighting our breadth of experience in delivering these dual programmes. It’s an excellent opportunity for young, aspiring American football players; giving them the unique chance to train and develop their skills and knowledge of the game whilst also completing a full-time education.”

 To track the progress of this year’s tryouts, follow NFL Academy on Instagram and Twitter: @NFLAcademy


The NFL Academy is supported by some of the biggest names in the NFL including London-born two-time Super Bowl winner Osi Umenyiora and his colleague on BBC’s NFL coverage, Jason Bell. Also serving as ambassadors are Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and NFL MVP and Super Bowl winner Patrick Mahomes; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu SmithSchuster; British-born running back Jay Ajayi; Carolina Panthers’ London-raised defensive end Efe Obada; Baltimore Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell and England soccer captain and Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane.


One of the largest colleges in London, with over 13,000 students, delivering more than 20 subjects across three main campuses: Barnet, Southgate and Colindale. Being part of a large and vibrant College community benefits students to prepare them for the workplace or university. The diverse environment offers an excellent opportunity to meet a broader range of people, while a larger college brings with it bigger and better facilities, with state-of-the-art campuses.

In order to meet the current and future skill needs of the local economy, Barnet and Southgate College works closely with strategic partners such as employers and economists to adapt the content of courses to ensure relevance to employers and progression to university.

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