Top 10 new players in the European League of Football

With the European League of Football season kickoff rapidly approaching, teams, coaches, and most importantly the fans are now wondering which new players will shake up the league this summer. Four new franchises have been added to the mix, along with a surge of incoming players, we know it’s high time we take a look at the top 10 new faces entering the European League of Football this season.

10: Tyrese Johnson-Fisher RB Istanbul Rams

The former viral rugby sensation is one of the most gifted athletes in ELF. Based on his burning speed and impressive rugby clips, the Brit was invited to the 2017 Under Armour All-America game despite never playing the sport. Fast forward five years and the now 22-year old has played two seasons of college football at Coastal Carolina (NCAA D1) and Copiah Lincoln (Juco). After limited playing time in the states, the 5’11 220-pound back will have a chance to prove he can play football at a high level in ELF.

9: Robin Wilzek WR Berlin Thunder

The young German exploded on the scene last season for the Dresden Monarchs. Despite being undersized, Wilzeck was a crucial part of the Monarchs championship run, making 42 catches for 961 yards and 13 touchdowns. Berlin Thunder fans can expect Wilzeck to be a focal point of the Thunder’s offense as they utilize his ability to stretch the field.

8: Benjamin Plu WR Barcelona Dragons

The 6’2 French target was one of the leagues most underrated signings of this off-season. Plu comes to Barcelona with experience in the CFL, Canada’s McGill University and the French National team. After playing last year in Finland with a carousel of quarterbacks, coaches and fans will soon recognize Plu’s potential as a redzone scoring machine.

7: Marco Schneider WR Raiders Tirol

Punter, receiver, kick returner, runningback, Schneider can play nearly every position on the field. The 5’9 speedster was the AFL rookie of the year in 2021 putting up 44 catches for 592 yards and 10 touchdowns. Expect the undersized playmaker to make a big impact this season, as he could be the ELF’s version of Tyreek Hill.

6: Jackson Erdmann QB Vienna Vikings

After building a passionate fan following in the Fan-Controlled-Football League, Erdmann’s flowing blonde hair and big arm should make him a fan favorite once again in Austria. The former Gagliardi Trophy winner (NCAA D3 Heisman) is still on the NFL radar working out with the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings last fall.

5: Leon Balogh DE Vienna Vikings

Fans of ELF may not know the Austrian defensive end now, but rest assured by the end of the season he’ll be known as one of league’s the defensive. Balogh is a two-time Defensive Player of the Year in the Austrian league and a feared pass rusher. Last season he put up 11 sacks, dipping just below his total of 14 the year prior.

4: Thomas Schnurrer LB Vienna Vikings

The All-Europe linebacker was the AFL’s leading tackler making 50 tackles in seven games last season. The hard hitting defender is well known in his homeland for being among the league leaders in tackles year in and year old.  The third Vienna Viking on this list is also a staple of the Austrian National team. Schnurrer’s feisty attitude and proven skills are a huge upgrade for a Vienna defense stacked with talent.

3: AJ Wentland LB Leipzig Kings

Wentland is a well-known tackling machine playing across Europe the last four seasons. The recent Leipzig signing led the German Football League in tackles in 2018 and 2019, making over 200 tackles each season. He’s also won titles in Finland and Austria before hoisting the German Bowl with the Dresden Monarchs last year. Expect the veteran to be among the league leaders in tackles this season, along with bringing much needed leadership to the Kings locker room.

2:  Justice Hansen QB Wroclaw Panthers

Hansen has the best NCAA resume of any quarterback in the ELF. The 6’4 220-pound passer originally signed with the powerhouse Oklahoma Sooners out of high school before transferring to Arkansas State. He went on to win Player of the Year in the Sun Belt Conference in 2017 totalling 4,382  yards and 44 touchdowns. After short stints in the NFL and CFL, Hansen looks to be one of the most talents passers in Europe this season.

1: Sean Shelton QB Raiders Tirol

The 30 year-old is a 5-time champion of the Austrian league. The now full-time Austrian resident has proven to be the country’s best passer year after year mimicking a Tom Brady-like career in his new homeland. However, this year will present a new challenge as the face of the Raiders franchise leads Innsbruck and Austrian football into the ELF.

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