The NFL has announced the International Player Pathway (IPP) program Class of 2024, featuring 11 athletes from around the world and a group of five specialists from England and Ireland.

Established in 2017, the IPP program aims to provide elite international athletes with the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills and ultimately work to earn a spot on an NFL roster.

The IPP Class of 2024 showcases talent from eight nations and represents a total of 16 players transitioning to the sport of American football.

Athletes come from various sporting backgrounds including rugby, basketball, track, Gaelic football and Australian football, among others. The range of backgrounds showcases how diverse sporting experiences and capabilities can continue to enrich the fabric of the league.

“The IPP Class of 2024 presents a group of incredibly talented athletes from diverse sporting backgrounds and nations across the globe," said New York Giants Legend Osi Umenyiora, who is spearheading the NFL's Africa program. “Our international football development programs at the NFL offer life-changing opportunities for talent and will only continue to impact the league this season and in the seasons ahead. This is only the beginning for these players, and we look forward to sharing their stories and the game of football with the world."  

Since its inception, 37 international players have signed with NFL teams (allocated, drafted or signed as a free agent), with 18 IPP athletes currently on NFL rosters. Five players —Jordan Mailata, Jakob Johnson, Efe Obada, Sammis Reyes and David Bada — have been on the active rosters of the Philadelphia Eagles, Las Vegas Raiders and Washington Commanders, since the program began in 2017.

Players will begin training in the United States in January at IMG Academy and will have the opportunity to showcase their talents to NFL club scouts in March.

After training camp, the group of 16 IPP athletes will be eligible to fill a 17th practice squad roster spot across any of the 32 teams — an additional spot reserved for an international player — following the rule change beginning with the 2024 season applicable to athletes outside of the United States and Canada.

The International Player Pathway Program Class of 2024 includes:



Jotham Russell


Patrick Murtagh


Florian Bierbaumer


Bayron Matos

Dominican Republic

George Smith


Travis Clayton


Harry Mallinder


Mark Jackson


Charlie Smyth


Darragh Leader


Rory Beggan


Sam Orji


Isaac Ajanah


Udo Uzuegbu


Praise Olatoke


Louis Rees-Zammit


The International Player Pathway program is part of a broader long-term commitment from the NFL and its 32 clubs to accelerate global football development efforts and have more international talent play the game. The NFL has a strategic focus on engaging and enabling athletes of all ages to find, play and thrive in the sport.

For more information on the International Player Pathway program, visit: