12 December 2023
~1 minutes read
Galway man giving Irish lads a chance in the NFL
Two prominent inter-county football goalkeepers will be given the chance to earn a professional American Football contract in the new year when they attend a Combine in Indianapolis that will be attended by all 32 NFL teams. Rory Beggan from Monaghan and Mark Jackson from Wicklow will display their kicking skills in front of scouts as they bid to follow another Wicklow man, Daniel Whelan, into the NFL. Whelan is a punter for the Green Bay Packers. Galway’s Tadhg Leader, a former Connacht rugby player, is facilitating the progress of both goalkeepers with his company Leader Kicking.
Leader made the switch from rugby to American Football in 2021, having lived in the USA since 2015. Since then, he has helped several young Irish players to secure scholarships, including 17-year-old Leaving Cert student Andy Quinn from Creggs (below), who impressed in winning the inaugural ‘Ireland’s Kicking King’ event and was signed up by the NFL Academy. Others to secure college scholarships include Kerry’s David Shanahan in Georgia Tech, Ross Bolger from Laois in Idaho State, and Ronan Patterson from Cavan in Monmouth University.