Goshen News, Goshen, IN


August 10, 2013

COLTS TRAINING CAMP: Indianapolis embraces global flavor inside locker room

Roster features several players from foreign countries.

ANDERSON — Walk around Colts training camp, and it’s like taking a trip around the world.

“You were born in Japan, too?” offensive lineman Emmett Cleary asked receiver Rodrick Rumble after one recent practice.

“Yeah, man,” Rumble said as the two undrafted rookies walked into the locker room together.

Rumble didn’t last long. He was one of two players cut Thursday morning.

But there are nearly a dozen others around with international connections.

Linebacker Bjoern Werner, Indy’s top draft pick, first came to the U.S. as an exchange student from Germany, Kenya’s Daniel Adongo is trying to make the transition from rugby player to linebacker, right tackle Gosder Cherilus lived in Haiti until he was 12. Linebacker C.O. Prime is a Quebec native. Cleary was born in Tokyo and Rumble on an American military base in Yokosuka before moving to Washington state.

The parents of defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois and fullback Stanley Havili moved to the U.S. after living in Haiti and Tonga.

And then there are the world travelers. Andrew Luck spent part of his childhood living in London and Germany where his father, Oliver, worked, and linebacker Jerrell Freeman starred in the CFL before setting a Colts record with 203 tackles in 2012. Before becoming the best clutch kicker in NFL history, Adam Vinatieri was making field goals for Amsterdam in the World League of American Football, and defensive lineman Aubrayo Franklin took his first professional snaps in Frankfurt, Germany.

It makes for some interesting conversations on the Anderson University campus.

“I think in five years, you won’t be calling me when you have 30 players from Europe playing,” said Tommy Wiking, president of the International Federation of American Football. “That will be the norm.”

For a league that has trailed the NHL, NBA, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer in worldwide appeal, this season could be the breakthrough Wiking and others have waited for.

Players who were born or reared in Australia, England, Estonia, Ghana, Germany, Jamaica, Japan, Liberia and Tonga were among the 333 invitees to this year’s annual NFL scouting combine. That list included Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah, Star Lotulelei and Werner — all among the top 25 picks.

Werner, who was called The Berlin Wall and The Germanator at Florida State, is the first graduate from USA Football’s International Student Program to reach the NFL. With foreign players already closing the gap on the U.S. in this uniquely American sport, Wiking said Werner’s success is bound to add more athletes to the mix.

“His success is really important in Germany, getting the German kids to participate on the world team,” Wiking said. “It’s huge for recruitment in Germany.”

Cherilus and Jean Francois, whose parents lived in Haiti, have provided assistance to the poor island country as it continues to recover from the deadly 2010 earthquake. Adongo is still getting acclimated to a helmet and pads, and Havili, who the Colts got in a trade with Philadelphia, just wants to make his parents proud.

“You’re representing the whole island every time you pull that jersey on, you’re representing your mom and dad,” Havili said, explaining that’s a traditional part of Polynesian culture. “My dad provided for eight kids by driving a bus, and he still drives a bus, and I think about that every time I come out here on the field. It motivates me.”

Not everyone knows the stories, though, as the meet-and-greet between Cleary and Rumble attests.

“My father works in the financial industry so he took a job in Tokyo, and then we lived in Germany briefly, too,” Cleary explained. “My dad thought he met Andrew’s dad at some party over there (in Germany).”

The big question now is which of these players will still be around for Indy’s season opener, Sept. 8 against Oakland.

Cherilus, Freeman, Luck and Vinatieri are all entrenched starters. Jean Francois and Franklin are expected to play key roles in Indy’s revamped defense. Havili is trying to become the first true fullback to make the Colts roster in years, and the Colts are being patient as Werner makes the transition from college defensive end to NFL linebacker.

That leaves Adongo, Cleary and Prime fighting for roster spots in a football world that seems to be expanding by the year.

“Football is getting more and more global,” Cleary said.

Notes: In addition to cutting Rumble, the Colts also put seventh-round draft pick Justin Anderson on the injured-waived list with a pectoral muscle injury.

If Anderson clears waivers, he will go on the Colts’ injured reserve list. To fill those spots, Indy signed linebacker Shawn Loiseau and safety Ashante Williams. Loiseau spent part of last season on Indy’s practice squad. Williams is an undrafted rookie

Text Only
  • PODCAST: TGN Sports Roundtable, Ep. 27

    TGN Sports Editor David Vantress and Sport Reporter Greg Keim give kudos to the four local runners who competed in the 2014 Boston Marathon and look ahead to a busy week in Michiana prep sports.

    Produced by Sheila Selman

    April 24, 2014

  • APTOPIX Diamondbacks Cubs 100th Anniversary Baseball [Duplicate] CHICAGO BASEBALL: For Wrigley, it's party of a century CHICAGO -- For Wrigley Field, it really was the party of a century. Exactly 100 years after the Chicago Federals pounded the Kansas City Packers in the first game at Wrigley, the famed ballpark got quite the birthday bash on Wednesday afternoon. Hall

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Diamondbacks beat Cubs on Wrigley's 100th birthday CHICAGO -- On the 100th anniversary of the first game at Wrigley Field, the team with the worst record in the major leagues won. And it wasn't the Chicago Cubs. After an error by shortstop Starlin Castro, the Arizona Diamondbacks rallied for five run

    April 24, 2014

  • GN140424 Mathis armor NFL:Mathis' leadership paying off for Colts INDIANAPOLIS -- An authentic set of battle armor greeted visitors to Robert Mathis' locker Wednesday at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. The black-and-gold helmet and chest plate look more at home in one of the "300" movies, but they are the

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140424 goshen-warsaw baseball ambrose PREP BASEBALL: Tigers blank Goshen in NLC contest GOSHEN -- Wins have been hard to come by for the Goshen baseball team so far in 2014. That frustrating trend continued Wednesday night at Phend Field as the Redskins fell to visiting Warsaw, 9-0 in an NLC contest. With the loss, Goshen dropped to 1-9

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wrigley Baseball-30 [Duplicate] CHICAGO BASEBALL: Scorekeeper at Wrigley practices dying art CHICAGO -- Inside a dusty, dimly lit chamber of steel catwalks, Darryl Wilson peers out a square hole and into one of baseball's most revered shrines. For 23 years, Wilson has been a scoreboard operator at Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. Run

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140424 base nr nw 06 PREP BASEBALL: Youth is served NAPPANEE -- A youthful Northridge High School baseball team is being led by a youngster. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Andrew Kennedy tossed his second good outing in a row as he defeated the NorthWood Panthers, 5-3, in an NLC contest Wednesday even

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former shoe peddler tries to upend NCAA

    There are those who would argue that Sonny Vaccaro

    April 23, 2014

  • Tech boom presents new wrinkles for Wrigley Field

    During a recent game at Wrigley Field

    April 23, 2014

  • Scorekeeper at Wrigley practices dying art

    Inside a dusty, dimly lit chamber of steel catwalks

    April 23, 2014


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results