PERTH Blitz linebacker Ben Metcalfe is off to the US after scoring a four-year scholarship to play gridiron at Campbellsville University.
The 18-year-old, who will be joined in Kentucky by close friend and fellow player Liam Crookes, was excited about the adventure, which began on Friday .
“It’s pretty insane to know I’ll be up against guys who have played the game all their lives and seeing the level of competition,” he said.
“They’ll know the game inside and out.
“The way I usually explain it is it’s like an American coming here to play AFL.
“I’m lucky to have the opportunity.”
Metcalfe, who graduated from Scotch College in 2016, took up the game as a teenager and was instantly hooked.
A 10cm growth spurt when he was 16 and added weight saw him transform from an agile quarterback into a hard-hitting enforcer charged with chopping out opposition raids towards the end zone.
“I’m not really sure how it happened,” he said of falling in love with the game.
“I just had so much fun playing.
“I love the physical side of it and stopping people from scoring.”
Metcalfe’s four-year scholarship, which will see half the cost of his economics degree paid for, came about after he impressed a Campbellsville coach involved in the Australian set-up.
He said others could take the same chances he did.
“(American football) is known to be a sport for anybody,” he said.
“It’s so much fun. There’s nothing to lose.”