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09th Jun 2023

GAA star set to ditch sport in quest to fulfil NFL ambitions

Rory Fleming

GAA star NFL

The Laois man continues the trend of young footballers heading stateside.

Former Laois under-20 footballer Ross Bolger is set to give up Gaelic football in pursuit of a career in NFL instead.

Confirming on Thursday that he has opted to take up a two-year collegiate scholarship in the States, Bolger will join Division One university Idaho State.

The university, nicknamed The Bengals, are one of the most successful college football programme’s in the US, playing their home games at the 12,000 seater indoor Holt Arena in the Big Sky Conference.

Notable alumni who have gone on to play in the NFL include former Kansas City Chiefs player Jared Allen, who went on to spend 12 seasons in the league.

GAA star NFLBolger will be hoping to line out for the Bengals in the upcoming college football season. (Credit: Getty Images)

Speaking to Newstalk about the move, the Killeshin club man said that the school’s faith in him as a prospective kicker and punter had been one of the driving factors in his decision.

“They’re taking me as a punter and as a kicker, which means I can excel in both”, remarked Bolger.

“Some other colleges were saying ‘we only want you as a punter or a kicker'”, he added.

The Laois man now becomes the latest footballer to leave behind life in Ireland for the prospect of chasing the American football dream.

In 2021, Kerry’s David Shanahan became the first Irishman to obtain a full scholarship to play American college football after being recruited by Georgia Tech, with Dubliner Ben Kiernan also acting as a kicker for the University of North Carolina.

Derry’s Jude McAtamney was another who left the sport behind in May of last year when he accepted a two-year scholarship at Rutgers University, another well respected college football programme.

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