NFL International Player Pathway spotlight: Marcel Dabo, DB, Germany

Germany has long been one of the pioneering European countries when it comes to American football. This year the country that embraced NFL Europe is ready to send another prospect to the pros as another German has been invited to the NFL’s International player pathway program.

This year, Marcel Dabo of Stuttgart looks to be the next German to make the jump to the NFL. Needless to say, the young man is excited about the opportunity:

“”I have taken the first step, there is still a long way to go to reach my goal, but through the European League of Football I have created a good basis for it. The league has helped me get the best possible exposure and is doing a great job there. I think I have the maturity to compete at that level. Getting into the NFL is a huge thing for any athlete in Europe,”

Instituted in 2017, the NFL International Player Pathway program aims to give elite international athletes the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills, and ultimately earn a spot on an NFL roster.

So far, the program has helped players such as Jordan Mailata (Philadelphia Eagles/Australia), Sammis Reyes (Washington Football Team/Chile), and Jakob Johnson (New England Patriots/Germany) earn roster spots in the NFL.

Dabo, 21, was one of the top athletes at the NFL’s London international combine this past fall. Unofficially, Marcel Dabo ran a 4.52 40-yard dash at the combine, recording the fastest time of all participants. At 6′, 210 pounds, the young defensive back showed excellent strength and explosiveness recording a remarkable 39-inch vertical, 11-foot broad jump, and 19 reps on the 225-pound bench press test.

On the field, Dabo has flashed the potential to be an excellent defensive back at a high level. the quick defensive back put up 22 tackles and one interception while playing cornerback and kick returner for his hometown Stuttgart Surge last season. Dabo’s excellent play earned him a spot on the 2021 ELF All-Star team and the league’s defensive rookie of the year award.

According to the head of NFL International head of development Will Bryce, Germany’s Marcel Dabo has the potential to be a contributor on Sundays.

“Marcel is a top athlete, very talented, and has outstanding character. He knows what he wants and is very hungry and understanding what today is all about.”

The defensive back has been supported avidly by fellow Stuttgart native and New England Patriot Jakob Johnson. Dabo looks to be in line to join countrymen David Bada, Aaron Donkor, and of course, Jakob Johnson in the NFL come this fall.

Read more about Marcel Dabo here

Watch Dabo’s 2021 highlights here:

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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