Video: Rating the Stuttgart Surge class of 2024 imports

The Stuttgart Surge are on a revenge mission after falling short in the final game of the 2023 European League of Football season.

The Surge story, rising from the absolute bottom of the league to championship contenders last season was compelling, but now there are expectations on the team. There is no doubt they can win a championship. However, we all know, you must have some serious talent in the import spots to compete at the highest level in the league.

This is certainly one of, if not the best group of players that any team has brought in. Starting with the Americans, Reilly Hennessey returns to the offense as one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He broke out last season in the latter half and hit excellent form with the addition of their re-signed receiver Darrell Stewart Jr. Stewart Jr had the best postseason of any receiver in league history. Through three games he had 42 catches for 545 and six touchdowns. It was incredible and it’s super exciting to see what he can bring in with a full season.

Darrell Stewart Jr. Photo-@zwenjazwenja.

The two-defensive back system is being used in Stuttgart with the re-signing of All-Star cornerback Mitch Fettig and former Auburn safety, Christian Tutt. Fettig has shown himself to be an elite pass coverage corner with fluid movement and active hands and Tutt instantly becomes one of the best safeties in the league as soon as he enters. His aggression and relentlessness in coverage are going to be a massive part of their defensive identity.

The spread of Europeans is extremely balanced throughout the roster. The amount of homegrown talent on the team allows them to add reinforcements to nearly every positional group. Starting in the trenches, experienced offensive lineman Alessandro Vergani is one of the league’s best and returns to the team. Chris Mulumba, the former Colorado defensive lineman from Finland instantly gets put into the best interior defensive lineman convocation. He has spent the last few seasons in the CFL with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats so it will be good to see the Finn back in Europe.

Two Brits are lining up on the defense. Simeon Okonta-Wariso, another former CFL player, is one of the most experienced linebackers in Europe and Chad Walrond, former IPP, is one of the best European safeties. Both of these will add experience and explosiveness to this defense. Another player who entered the league later in the season and had success is running back Nicolas Khandar. He is patient in the backfield and finds space behind the line of scrimmage excellently.

Austrian wide receiver Yannick Mayr will finish us up for the Surge. Mayr is one of the best European receivers in the league, without question. He is criminally underrated. The trio of receivers of Mayr-Geyer-Stewart will be a nightmare for the defensive units of the ELF.