American football: the former taekwondo champion, Yoann Miangué, soon in the NFL?

Few French people have so closely touched the dream of the NFL, the powerful American Football League. Yoann Miangué is getting closer. At 22, the Frenchman is coming out of a 3-month training camp in Florida reserved for the best international players, an experience that may have allowed him to be spotted by a franchise.

At 22, Yoann Miangué touches the NFL with his fingertips. The American dream has recently gained a little more weight for this young French hopeful, with a meteoric trajectory. Because this colossus of 1.96 m and 130 kg has only discovered American football for three years. And his early career did not destine him at all for this sport.

Former taekwondo champion, a discipline in which he had excelled with notably a title at the Youth Olympic Games in 2014 and two titles of champion of France in 2017 and 2018, the Frenchman completely changed his trajectory after the death of his mother.

His physique and his agility led him to try the adventure of American football, a sport which is not yet fully developed and relatively little publicized in France.

And obviously, its potential seems limitless. Two years after joining the Flash de la Courneuve team in Seine-Saint-Denis in 2018 and then the France team, the powerful NFL sent him at the end of 2020 a very popular invitation, to join the NFL Pathway in January 2021, a program open since 2017 to the eleven top international prospects.

An opportunity that no French had tasted so far. A unique experience, and above all a first step to be taken in order to be able to join the NFL, something that only a few rare French people have managed to do in history.

“I checked a few boxes”

During a videoconference with French journalists, Yoann Miangué returned to this superb opportunity: “It was a great adventure. Hard, long. We will say that it is a first step, and there is a new challenge that is taking place. may open soon. “

However, the French colossus admits to having felt a gulf between the level between the French Championship and the NFL: “I did not expect that. I got out of my comfort zone. It hasn’t been that long since I play football, we had to work harder. “

Whoever evolves in the position of “defensive end” (player located on both ends of the defensive line) thinks he made a good impression: “I ticked a few boxes, but not all. After I’m happy, I liked . “

Obviously his technique is not at the level of American university players, but his physique is an interesting weapon. And his profile may be of interest to a franchise that could offer him to join his reserve team, the last step before the holy grail: to be part of the team aligned in the NFL and composed of 53 players.

“Kick down that NFL door”

Since the early 90s and Richard Tardits, the only French player to have played in an official NFL game with the New England Patriots, no Frenchman has managed to repeat the experience.

A handful found themselves, a bit like Yoann Miangué, in the anteroom of the NFL, but without ever managing to cross the last obstacle. The level is extremely high to achieve this but there also seems to be a cultural factor according to Yoann Miangué.

“Whatever happens, as a foreigner I’ll have to do twice as much as an American. What you see here is the love of the sport. Maybe they want to keep that. a little for them, ”he explains.

During this training camp, he also said to have felt more “support to get there together” with the other internationals. “We are a bit like the eleven rebels. It was more of a sibling trying to break down this door of the NFL which is a little locked for us.”

For now, Yoann Miangué will therefore have to wait, and wait for a phone call that could sustain the dream that he is very close to fulfilling.


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