With rosters now finalised for season one of the National Gridiron League (NGL), we can now look back at every player signed from the NGL National Combine held in April at the spectacular CBUS Stadium in the Gold Coast.
While there were some of the local competitions best players missing for one reason or another, it was not time wasted for 19 of those that attended who are now professional football players.
Here is a full rundown of every player signed to a NGL franchise from that day.
1Central Coast Cyclones
Rohail Akhtar – DB/RB (#30)
Came in second behind Australian sprinter Mitchell Williams-Swain for the 40 yard dash. From the Metro Lions Gridiron Club in his native New Zealand.
Stuart Lips – P/WR (#23)
Australian, former player for the Marshall Thundering Herd in the NCAA Division 1 system, coming back from a few years break after college. Owns his own sports apparel business.
2Gold Coast Kings
Adam Vernon – TE/HB/LB (#49)
Defensive end from the Gold Coast Stingrays who was selected for the championship winning Queensland Sundevils in the recent Australian Gridiron League
John Karikari – QB (#12)
18 years old, youngest player in the NGL, younger brother Ben also attended but was ineligible as only 16.
Tyson Garnham – WR/DB (#36)
Played for the Dresden Monarchs in Germany, originally from the Western Crusaders, won the Vic Bowl in 2007 as a wide receiver.
David Samson -TE/DE (#89)
The only played picked up by head coach Michael Torres from the Combine.
Carlos Williams – QB (#10)
Played college football at the NAIA Kansas Wesleyan University, 4 years playing professional indoor football, came to the Brisbane Raptors club in Brisbane from the US. One of the older players in the NGL at 32.
Blake Marklew – WR (#83)
Australian Outback wide receiver out of Western Australia, previously played with the Perth Kookaburras, now in Brisbane.
Austin Otis – RB (#28)
Flew in from Seattle with his father when seeing the NGL online. Broke many records in smaller college ball, came to Australia for a greater challenge.
Mitchell Williams – WR/RB (#80)
Australian top 10 sprinter, just missed the Rio Olympic games. From a rugby league background, fastest player recorded over the 40 yard dash in all combines.
Christopher Costa – QB (#12)
20 6’2 170 Suffolk University
Quarterback from Massachusetts out of Division III Suffolk University. Has the most appropriate name for beach side stadium games. C-Breeze.
Luther Clayton – DL (#75)
28 6’5 340 New Zealand National
Tried out as a defensive lineman, signed on the offensive line. Native to New Zealand, played in NZ’s first semi-pro eight man Gladi8tor gridiron tournament.
6North Coast Heat
Jack Marton – RB (#31)
Played with the Western Predators before representing Australia at the IFAF World Championships. Played college ball as a runningback in the US with Dakota College at Bottineau.
Klentsky Haembo – WR (#47)
Didn’t start playing American Football until 2014. Represented Queensland Sundevils, and played with the Raptors in the QLD competition.
Will be happy to be back into the season proper.
— Klentsky .C. Haembo (@theonlyklentsky) May 17, 2013
Vincent Scheffer – QB (#8)
Quarterback out of the Croydon Rangers in Victoria. Won Division two quarterback and offensive MVP in 2011, has a high-profile quarterback to compete with in Blake Sims out of Alabama.
John Maumau – LB (#49)
Linebacker out of the West Sydney Pirates in NSW, works at one of Sydney’s leading sports schools Westfields Sports High. Originally from Auckland New Zealand, played center and wing in Rugby before the switch.
Mark Shoebridge – QB (#8)
Part of the Australian Outback 2015 squad for the World Championships, quarterback and receiver for the Northwestern Predators. Tested as the better athlete of the Quarterback set, running a 4.948 40 yard dash and finishing in the top bracket of all players for his vertical.
Samuel Leota – LB (#57)
From New Zealand. Played for the South Brisbane Wildcats in Queensland prior to signing with the NGL. Member of the Queensland Sundevils in the Australian Gridiron League. Favourite team is the Philadelphia Eagles.
Gerard Laws – K/P (#7)
Standout punter and kicker from the NGL National Combine. Played as a kicker in the APFL for the California Sharks and is another product of ProKick Australia.
Michael Haigh – DL (#94)
Lineman out of the Wollongong Mustangs gridiron club who gets to stay at home and play for the Devils.