Gridiron: Perth Blitz linebacker set to take up college scholarship in the US

Perth Blitz linebacker Ben Metcalfe is off to the USA. Picture: Jeremy Truong
Perth Blitz linebacker Ben Metcalfe is off to the USA. Picture: Jeremy Truong

PERTH Blitz linebacker Ben Metcalfe is off to the USA 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 begins January 12.

“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 wiped away, came about after he impressed a Campbellsville coach involved in the Australian setup.

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.”

Metcalfe will head to Mexico in July to represent Australia at the Under 19 World Championships, his second appearance at the tournament.