Indianapolis Colts’ Andrew Luck Valuable In Mining European NFL Talent
Luck had exactly the sort of credentials that current U.S. Men’s National Team (soccer) coach Jurgen Klinsmann has famously searched for — children who grew up in soccer-loving environs born to American parents. Happily for Colts fans, Luck plays the gridiron kind of football, but the NFL might benefit from a Klinsmann-esque approach to mining future talent. Luck is the perfect ambassador for the job.
For the first time, Luck (along with his father Oliver) is hosting the Luck Football Skills Camp in Europe. I’d envision it as an overseas version of the Manning Passing Academy, but according to the Colts’ website, the camp in London had 50 young athletes training in offensive skill positions including quarterback, receiver, running back, etc. Soon, the camp will move on to Germany, and that camp might feature even more young talent, given the presence of United States military families.
In a European environment, where soccer-type-football is king, Luck is uniquely qualified to train and recruit. He speaks the language of European footballers. His love of “The Beautiful Game” is hardly secret. One of Luck’s first (and few, compared to his draft-mates Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson) endorsements was for the popular soccer video game FIFA 13. He’s been highly visible this month at matches, such as West Ham vs. Liverpool and with Bayern Munich.
But for all of his European influence and experience, Luck bleeds red, white and blue. During an interview with ESPN’s Roger Bennett, Luck said that he didn’t necessarily have a favorite European team; instead, he just cheers for the Americans playing overseas, as well as Klinsmann’s U.S. Men’s National Team (who will be competing in this summer’s World Cup in Brazil). Luck’s Colts have yet to play in one of the NFL’s London games (possibly since their conference-mate Jacksonville Jaguars seem so keen on taking all of them), but it will be interesting to see the reception when he does play his personal brand of football on Wembley’s hallowed turf.
His influence overseas could one day result in an entirely different sort of football recruit, if not an expansion of European football fandom. I think it’s safe to say that Commissioner Roger Goodell feels Mr. Luck has spent his offseason wisely.
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