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Young Londoner destined for US superstardom

POTENTIAL: Kallon

BRITISH TEENAGER Francis Kallon could earn up to £14million-a-year playing American football in the National Football League.

Kallon, who lived in Wandsworth, south London, until 2010, is one of the top ranked defensive players in the US and he received sports scholarship offers from 13 American colleges. He has chosen to study physics at Georgia Tech because of its good academic reputation and location close to his family.

The 17-year-old had never played the sport before he moved to Georgia last year when his mother and father reunited and married.

His father Francis Sr, who was born in Sierra Leone, had originally travelled to Atlanta intending to stay there for two months. His stay in fact lasted 13 years and he is now a US citizen.

Francis, who is 6’ 6” tall and weighs almost 19 stone, was initially not interested in playing American football because he felt it would be too rough and instead wanted to concentrate on his favourite sport basketball.


ATHLETICISM: The 17-year-old is geared up and ready for training

However, the coach at Central Gwinnett High School, Todd Wofford, saw potential in Kallon and managed to convince him to play: “ I said ‘give me two weeks, if you don’t like it, fine,’” he told The New York Times.

Wofford also admitted that as soon as he saw Kallon in pads, he said to an assistant: “’I think we’ve got something here. He’s a football player, and he doesn’t even know it. He has a motor that just doesn’t stop.’”

Despite needing assistance with his safety padding at first and being confused by the field markings, Kallon is now rated at number 15 amongst high school senior defensive ends and Scott Kennedy of Scout.com explained why:

“What’s been surprising is how well he’s picked up the nuances of the game and its physicality. He’s in the trenches and he takes on blocks, reads the option, uses his hands and generally goes full speed on every play. His athleticism will get him noticed, but it’s his attitude that’s going to make him a lot of money one day.”

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