By: Europe's Elite
The road to the NFL from Austria has never been seen as an easy task. But dream of playing in the NFL might become a reality soon enough for one special international athlete. Bernhard Seikovits is a 6’4ft and 255lbs WR/TE from Vienna, Austria that is one of the nine members apart of the NFL pathway program. The 22-year-old athlete has been a member of the Vienna Vikings football club for the past 12 years, and now his eyes are set on the NFL. Just as Seikovits has a dream to play in the NFL, many of us in Europe dream of seeing an athlete such as Seikovits compete in the world’s top football league.
For the past few months the nine players that were selected to participate in the NFL Pathway Program had been training at the world renowned IMG sports Academy. IMG academy is is the world’s largest and most advanced multi-sport training and educational institution located in Bradenton, Florida. This is the perfect place for any athlete to spend several weeks to focus on getting better. For the international athlete, training in a facility such as IMG-academy is a dream within its self. Imagine living at the world’s best sports facility that is specifically designed to help athletes reach their best potential. This is what sports paradise truly looks like. To help put into perspective how good this facility is for athletes, look at the progress Seikovits has made in just a few months. Just last summer the Austrian Wide Receiver competed in the AFL (Austrian Football League) at 6’4ft (197cm) and 228lbs (104 kg). Now the stud athlete is awaiting NFL draft day standing at 6’4ft and 255lbs (116 kg).
Naturally, many football fanatics will be quick to compare Bernhard Seikovits to German athlete Moritz Boehringer. Both athletes are roughly the same size, play the same position, and speak the same native language. In 2016 Moritz became the first international athlete drafted to the NFL directly from a European league. Ironically enough he was drafted by the Minnesota Viking. Oh, how sweet it would be to see an athlete from the Vienna Vikings, get drafted by the Minnesota Vikings. But we are positive that Seikovits would truly be grateful to be drafted by any team in the NFL.
But now is the time to stay in shape and wait. If Seikovits is drafted or selected as a free agent by an NFL team, he will be expected to attend rookie training camp in June. But even then, a roster spot will not be set and stone. After surviving rookie training camp, NFL athletes still must compete throughout the preseason to make the 53-man roster. But for now the most important thing Seikovits can do is continue to work hard towards his dream. After all, the dream is always sold for free to everyone, but the grind is sold separately.