Meet the Prospects – Keanu Ebanks

British players in the 2020 CFL Draft

by John Kohl

“It would honestly be an honour to represent my country in the CFL, being one of the first would just be the cherry on top”

We reached out to the British players who have entered the 2020 CFL draft to ask about their journey from playing BAFA and how our CFL partnership has increased opportunities for British athletes to go pro.

Keanu Ebanks started playing American Football at the University of Hull and enjoyed himself so much that he decided to play in the senior league during the summer. He played several seasons in the UK for a variety of teams before taking his talents to Europe, having signed with the Hildesheim Invaders of the GFL. More recently, he played for the Stockholm Mean Machines, who made it to the 2020 Final.

  •    How was your time playing American Football in Britain?

“I really enjoyed my time playing for the UH Sharks and I wouldn’t change those times for anything.”

  •     How does it compare to playing in the GFL?

“The GFL is another beast entirely, it’s hard to compare the two cause the level of play in the GFL is consistently higher. My first play in the GFL was a wakeup call, I had to get bigger, stronger and more technical to survive in that league. Teams like Dresden, New Yorker, Berlin are on a different level to anything in the UK.”

  • Do you think that playing in Europe is a necessary steppingstone to go pro?

“I think it’s a good idea to test yourself against the best athletes that Europe has to offer and by playing in the GFL you are doing just that. Though I don’t think it is 100% necessary, there are now different academies like Leeds, NFL Academy and PRIDE that really develop talent that we have. There is of course the IPP also which can find guys who can play without them having to play in Europe.”

  • What do you think about BAFA’s partnership with the CFL?

“I think BAFA partnering with different professional bodies can only be a good thing for the British game and is important for the development of the sport.”

  • What would you say to prospective athletes looking to go to the next level?

“Keep working, train right, eat right, learn the game and watch film. There are a lot more resources now then I was available when I first came over, use them! Also never stop betting on yourself!”

  • How does it feel to potentially be the first British athlete in the CFL?

“It would honestly be an honour to represent my country in the CFL, being one of the first would just be the cherry on top.”

Keep your eyes peeled for more CFL Draft content in the lead up to the draft on April 15!

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