Top Swedish DB Markus Persson headed to Germany’s Frankfurt Universe

The Frankfurt Universe, 2017 German Football League semifinalists, have snagged the leading defensive back and kick returner in Sweden, Markus Persson.

Persson spent the past two seasons with Sweden’s top club, the Carlstad Crusaders helping them win their seventh and eighth straight Swedish titles. In the 2017 final against the Orebro Black Knights, he had three interceptions as Carlstad blanked the Black Knights 24-0.

The 6’1″, 210 lb, 25 year old Persson is a native of Ystad, Sweden and first started playing with his hometown Ystad Rockets at the age of 12, moving up to the Kristianstad Predators. When Kristianstad dropped out of Sweden’s Super Series, he opted to sign with Carlstad. He was named the top defensive back in Sweden in 2017.

Persson began doing his own exploring in the offseason and a couple of GFL teams had been in touch with him, but Universe defensive coordinator Thomas Kösling happened to reach out. After a few conversations a deal was struck making Persson the second Swedish national team player to sign with a German Football League in the last month. Wide receiver Jonatan Gihl is headed to play for Frankfurt’s rival in the GFL South, the Allgau Comets.

Although talented, Persson did not start getting noticed until he began to take football seriously.

“Up until I was 20, I was not working out much. Once I started to get serious about my workouts, things changed. That’s when the Predators noticed me. When they decided to move down a division, I had a tryout with Carlstad and made the team.”

Frankfurt has risen from the depths of American football in Germany to the elite level fashioning back to back 12-2 seasons since arriving in the GFL in 2016. The team has produced the stingiest defense in Germany for two years running and last season boasted the best pass defense in the league. Ideal for a ball hawk like Persson.

“There are no words to describe how happy and excited I am for this unique opportunity. “Coach K” and I connected via Facebook, then on the phone and he gave me a great insight into the program in Frankfurt. John Tidwell [former Denver Bronco] contacted me directly and we understood each other immediately. It just felt like Frankfurt was the place where I belong as a person and as a player. The Samsung Frankfurt Universe is a highly respected team in Europe, especially the fans and the successes that the team has had in such a short time.

Frankfurt head coach Brian Caler:

“We are excited to have Markus on the team in 2018. We wanted a guy who is considered as one of the best in Europe, and we feel like we got that in Markus.”

Persson will be joining an elite  defensive secondary unit that includes former Denver Bronco John Tidwell.

Check out Markus Persson’s 2016 highlights

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