Every year, we help talented student-athletes from around the world take their football careers overseas.
With less strict eligibility rules in the UK, students can continue playing college football whilst studying at universities across the United Kingdom.
From quarterbacks to kickers, student-athletes from every US college division have seized the opportunity provided by our free service to pursue their football careers and education overseas.
Central College graduate Jake Suggett has done just that. After an excellent four-year NCAA career, Jake has spent the last two years enrolled at a university in England, playing football and working towards his master’s degree.
The former Dutch lineman reached out to us in December 2020 to explore the possibility of playing football overseas and working towards his master’s degree at the same time. After connecting him with several coaches at schools across the UK and helping him explore each option thoroughly, Jake committed to a university that met his athletic and academic ambitions.
After a successful four year NCAA playing career with Central and a Conference Championship in his senior year, Jake has since enjoyed three competitive seasons of football as a postgraduate student-athlete in the UK, representing his university team and an external local side.
|The former Dutch lineman reached out to us in December 2020 to explore the possibility of playing football overseas and working towards his master’s degree at the same time. After connecting him with several coaches at schools across the UK and helping him explore each option thoroughly, Jake committed to a university that met his athletic and academic ambitions.
During his time in England, Jake was not only able to experience two more years of college football, he was also able to compete for an external team outside of his university, allowing him to enjoy three competitive seasons as a postgraduate student-athlete after a four year NCAA playing career.
Following back-to-back undefeated seasons and two UK University National Championship rings, Jake recently earned his first professional contract in Germany, where he is currently playing for the Ravensburg Razorbacks.
We spoke with Jake to find out what he enjoyed most about his time in the UK, how he secured the opportunity to play professionally, and ask what words of advice he has to any student-athlete considering playing overseas.
Having recently left England as a two-time UK University National Champion, how would you describe your overall experience as a postgraduate student-athlete in the UK?
“It was amazing. Everything I could have asked for and more.
You guys did a great job making the recruiting and application process as easy as possible for me. Ensuring any questions and needs were met. Also a huge thank you to UWE for everything they’ve done for not only me but every one of their athletes.
Going undefeated in a season is a huge achievement but I was blessed to be able to do it two seasons in a row. They are memories I will be able to look back on forever.”
What three things did you enjoy most about your time in the UK?
“Being able to play the sport I love again and see how many doors it has opened up for me.
Secondly, being able to travel and see new places. Getting out to Europe and the UK from the States can be tough. Having an international airport in Bristol was huge being able to take off on bye week weekend to see and experience a brand new country.
Lastly, helping the sport grow in the UK over the two seasons seeing the improvement from other teams and my team as well. There is a lot of talented young players in the UK who are eager to learn and want to get better at the sport.”
As well as playing two seasons with your university team, you were also able to compete for an external team. Did you ever think that you would be able to play so much football alongside your postgraduate studies?
“Heading into my year in England, I thought it would just be one further season which might open up the possibility to play in Europe later on.
Ultimately, I enjoyed being in the UK and decided to spread my studies out over two years to really enjoy my time. I was fortunate enough to have a great teammate, Ezzat Elnagmi, he transferred from DMU to UWE my first year and had nothing but great things to say about the Leicester Panthers.
That summer, I decided not to head home but instead explore a new city and continue playing. He really influenced me to head to Leicester to play with him for the Falcons, now the Panthers.”
Congratulations on securing a playing opportunity in Germany this Summer. Could you tell us how the opportunity came about and what your plans are for the future?
“Coach Brändle and Coach Mike reached out to me through Europlayers and that really started the recruiting process. After having great talks with them and hearing about the direction they want to take the image and brand of the razorbacks really made me want to be a part of it.
Being able to compete in one of the most competitive leagues outside of the USA and Canada will be something I won’t take for granted. I really appreciate the Razorbacks organization giving me this opportunity to compete.
Currently, my plans for the future are finish the season with the Razorbacks before returning to the UK.
I have been able to secure a full-time job to coach the offensive line at UWE and I cannot wait to get started.”
Do you have any words of advice for students who are currently considering the opportunity to play and study overseas?
“For those of you thinking about playing overseas, do it. It’s been a life-changing experience being able to see parts of the world I’ve never seen and being able to continue my athletic career into a professional one.
Take the leap of faith, you won’t regret it!
Play Overseas made the whole process extremely easy and explained everything to me so I was always in the loop through the entire process. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.”
Want to take your football career overseas like Jake?
If you would like to explore the possibility of studying for a master’s degree in the U.K. alongside playing another year of college football, we can help!
Our FREE service has helped football players from every US college division to extend their playing careers.
Register your details via the link below to see what exciting playing opportunities we can find for you.APPLY