27th Newsletter

October 2023

Welcome to the 27th Edition of our monthly newsletter. We are in October and our family members are surely looking forward to having a bit of fun for Halloween.

One school that is definitely having fun early is Rabun Gap-Nacoochee, who have gone trick or treating early this year and are scaring opponents left and right while bringing home a lot of sweet W’s. They are ranked within the Top 50 High School football programs in the US according to MaxPreps. If you want to know more about their success this year, you can read all about it here.

If you want to enjoy a leisurely stroll through the dark October months, we recommend giving the first episode of our brand new podcast “Gridiron Passports” a listen. You can find it on Spotify, Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts. Or you can just click the link above!

Behind the scenes, we are having a bit of fun as well, as we have brought Coach Brian Spapens along as our first European Director. You can read about what that entails and a bit about who he is further down in the newsletter or jump right to it.

However, nothing is more fun than playing, and more than one family member has played their first games this month - including one major recruit.

Interested in reading last month's newsletter, it is available here.


Fun! raising

We appreciate all of you who have elected to participate in our Patreon program. Through your monthly donations ($5, $10, or $20), we can support the great young men we work with around the globe in a multitude of ways, ranging from recruiting support to direct financial assistance with matters beyond the basic cost of attendance.  

Donations can also be made through our website.

If you wish to donate by check or bank transfer, please contact us directly.

Your support goes towards visa fees, plane tickets, health insurance, and other expenses for our Gridiron Imports Family.  We also use your donations to subsidize our College Camp tour and keep it the most affordable and valuable opportunity available to International football players each summer. Your tax-deductible contributions also allow us to serve our players in the US now and work hard to create the next batch of trailblazers and future stars here in the US. 


The Box Score

More and more of our family members are starting to get on. Not just in the classroom but are seeing action on the fields across the nation.

Even the highest-ranked member in Gridiron Imports history has started to get rolling. We are of course talking about our favorite Alabama player, Olaus Alinen, when he came on the field towards the end of the blowouts against Mississippi State and Middle Tennessee. 

However, he was just one of many players making his debut as more than 10 players followed suit in September or early October. This includes the Dickinson Freshmen duo of Max Fromme, DT, and Leon Antoni, WR, who all made their first appearance in the 40-20 win over McDaniel, Rafal Szymanski, who entered the game against ACC opponent Pittsburg Panthers, and Tim Steins, who forced a fumble against Concordia-St. Paul.

On the other end of the experience spectrum is another Dickinson player, Neville Krüeger, who has been an absolute nightmare, living up to the reputation of his Wes Craven-created namesake. The Defensive Lineman has five tackles per game so far this year, with a season-high nine tackles.

Players on the other side of the trenches have also been proving themselves, most impressively Valentin Senn, who has been named to the East-West Shrine Bowl watch list for when he decides to declare for the draft.


European birds of prey lead Rabun Gap to Top 50

The history between Rabun Gap and Gridiron Imports goes back to our beginnings, as they were one of the first schools to really believe in our mission and open their nests to a group of European talent, as Yannik Gruner among others joined their convocation ahead of the 2017 season. 

At that time Rabun Gap had open roster spots.

That was about to change.

As Rafal Szymanski and Lukas Maier helped them gain their footing in North Carolina High School football, the team improved year after year with a bevy of international talent leading the way - not just on the field or in the classroom, but as people. 

According to Roger Cox, the Rabun Gap associate director of admissions, the common denominator for our family members has been how they have been able to adapt and fit into the requirements of boarding school life.

“I credit Gridiron Imports with identifying the right type of person to attend a boarding school and with helping those students be prepared for this opportunity.”


The seven-year anniversary between us is this year and is commonly referred to as the copper anniversary. Copper is intended to represent utility and good fortune, something that Cox sees in the international players they’ve had over the years.


“Every single Gridiron Imports student we have had has been committed to being a good student, a good athlete, and a good person,” he says finishing up with these parting words “One of the most valuable contributions Gridiron Imports makes to the school and the students is that they stay involved all the way through their high school journey, their college recruitment and placement, and beyond college.”


The relationship has definitely been a great stepping stone for all parties, as Rabun Gap is currently experiencing unprecedented success. Many international players, from Marlin Klein, who is now a sophomore Tight End for the Univerity of Michigan, to Konrad Vanborg, starting Quarterback for Gettysburg, have seen their stock rise because of their time with the Eagles.


Likewise, the school has been soaring in recent years, and is currently enjoying an undefeated run and has been ranked in the top 50 High School teams nationally - with plenty of international players creating space for them to rush into - literally and figuratively speaking.


The Honor Roll

The following families, individuals, and schools have made contributions to the Foundation since we transitioned to non-profit status:

Chris and Alisa Adamson and Family

Bjoern and Denise Werner and Family 

Erik and Alex Dahl and Family

Michael Johnson and Family

Will Powell

Chris Rhodes and Family

Paul Mylott Darren and Debbi Castro and Family

Rickard and Jessica Nilsson and Family

Dr. Alexander Vollert and Christina Stadelmann & Family 

Debbie Moore and Family 

Robert and Julie Webster and Family 

Bob and Jamie Adamson 

Racheli Cohen and Family

Wolfgang and Claudia Spörk and Family

Kinga and Jakub Szymanski and Family 

Justin and Kristin Thormodsgard and Family 

Irene Antkowiak 

Max Braeueri 

Steven Mansour 

Nico Dinkelborg 

Frank and Svenja Steffens 

Jannik Ebben 

Damon and Rachel Ferrara and Family 

Dan Adamson 

Alexander Neundlinger 

Daniel Otto

David Letzel 

Jann Sprecher 

Thomas Phillip Jäger 

Matthiad Hohenauer 

Michael Duss 

Simon Wilsdorf 

Christopher Münzel 

Fabian Deringer 

Andreas Lüscher 

Konstantin Will 

Hans-Georg Scholler 

Sven Bruns 

Joshua Kolz 

Till Menne 

Kate Wambach 

Steffen Buenting 

Dennis Richter 

Rafael Hauser 

Moritz Raum 

Mika Kalkbrenner 

Christian Jortzik 

Peter Daletzki 

Raf and Stephanie Steins 

Lauren Butler 

Jens and Kristiane Vandborg 

Matthias and Katja Krebs 

The Kuehl Family 

Peter Claußnitzer and Family 

David Perfield and Family 

Mathias Richter 

Ronny Moriana 

Lukas Durchholz 

Till Werner 

Michael Just 

Geert Hahn 

Bruno Sojat and Family 

Chad Tew 

Kai-Erik and Pati Lyck and Family 

Robin Dettmar 

Jan Burell and Family 

David Giglio 

The Mittendorfer Family 

Jeff Hollway and Family 

The Batchen Family 

Seth Oseransky 

Dylan Stewart 

Marcus Wagner 

Alejandra Gonza and Family 

Ronny Moriana and Family 

Thomas Müller and Family 

Daniel Antoni 

Thane Watkins 

Jason Osborne and Family 

Forret West 

Noel Jäger 

Wilke Osterkamp 

Derek White and Family 

Preston and Mellissa Whitworth 

Dirk Kirasch and Family 

Brooks School 

Casady School 

The Governor's Academy 

The Linsly School 

Wilbraham & Monson Academy

The Paschos Family


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