Temple picks up O-line commitment from … Sweden

Oskar Andersson

After the rapid rise of Hjalte Froholdt at Arkansas, it looks like Scandinavia is suddenly entering the radar screens of college football recruiters. Offensive lineman Oskar Andersson committed Monday to Temple, in the kind of Twitter post that recruits use regularly to announce their college choices.

“First off i would like say thanks to all the schools that have believed in me and have offered me a scholarship to attend their school,” Andersson wrote. “I want to thank my family, my friends, and all the coaches at RIG Academy that have supported me and made to that football player i am today. Big thanks to the PPI for believing in me and made my dreams come true.

“With that being said i felt that my best fit was to continue my academic and athletic career at TEMPLE UNIVERSITY!!!”

But there’s something different about Oskar Andersson.

He plays his high school football at the RIG Academy in Uppsala, Sweden, a program that helps young Swedish athletes prepare for potential careers in the American game.

At 6-foot-5 and 290 pounds, Andersson chose Temple over offers from Old Dominion and Liberty.

A native of Denmark, Froholdt never played football until coming to Ohio as an exchange student in his sophomore year of high school. In five years, he’s gone from football newcomer to a four-star prospect at Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy to an Arkansas starter who’s on the Outland Trophy watch list.

Although Scandinavia has produced its share of distinguished kickers, including Pro Football Hall of Famers Jan Stenerud from Norway and Morten Andersen from Denmark, they’ve made little impact at other positions.

Andersson isn’t the only player in Sweden getting serious college attention. Another RIG Academy lineman, Anton Oskarsson, picked up an offer in June from Eastern Michigan.

Oskarsson, who stands 6-foot-5 and 274 pounds, is a 2019 prospect who still has two more years of high school to further build his recruiting profile.

Both Andersson and Oskarsson were part of a Swedish team that won July’s IFAF (International Federation of American Football) Under-19 European Championship, defeating Denmark 26-14.

Tournaments like that one are a long, long way – both in geography and hype – from the 7-on-7 competitions and camps that often gain attention in American high school recruiting.

But if Andersson’s progress becomes a trend, more and more high school athletes from Sweden and other overseas countries might soon be making their way onto the recruiting charts.

(You can follow Gridiron Now on Twitter @GridironNow)

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