The Gold Coast Suns have confirmed the signing of former NFL player Brandon Kaufman.
Kaufman, a former wide-receiver with the Buffalo Bills has joined the Suns as an international scholarship player and is the club’s first ever international recruit.
The 25-year-old is 196cm tall and weighs in at 96kg, after he lost nine kilograms in an endurance based training regime.
He impressed the Gold Coast recruiting team during a pre-season trial with the club, where he displayed impressive agility, endurance and also speed given his height.
The American can run 100 metres in just 10.8 seconds and 400 metres in just 48 seconds.
Kaufman said he is incredibly excited to begin his career as an AFL footballer.
“Everyone has been incredibly good to me since I’ve come on board, and made an effort to come and make me feel welcomed,” he said.
“If there has ever been a time where I’ve needed help on the field the playing group have been happy to help me.”
“I picked up a Sherrin for the first time in November, and since then there hasn’t been a day where I haven’t learnt something new.
“In January I was talking with some coaches, but I didn’t want to kick the football or have it in my hands – I just wanted to play defence and use my athleticism.
“But now I’m beginning to feel more comfortable with the Sherrin in my hands and I’ve still got time to keep getting better and better.”
Gold Coast recruiting manager Dom Ambrogio believes Kaufman can have a great impact at AFL level.
“We are excited to announce Brandon has joined the Suns as an international scholarship player,” Ambrogio said.
“Aside from his unique athleticism and size, Brandon’s appeal was his elite level competitiveness and work rate.
“He is a proven athlete; his experience as a wide receiver in the NFL has meant he has developed an elite ability to catch under duress.
“Brandon’s American football experience means he knows what it takes reach the elite level, and we’re confident, with hard work, he has the ability to establish himself as a player for the Gold Coast Suns.”