May 25, 2024

The GAA goalkeepers are hoping to fulfill their aspirations of getting signed by an NFL team in the United States this weekend.

Rory Beggan and Mark Jackson are following their NFL dreams through a series of future tryouts. The former Monaghan and Wicklow goalkeepers have returned to the United States to make their mark in American football.

The two, together with Charlie Smyth, a former Down goalkeeper, and Darrah Leader, an ex-Connacht rugby player, attended the NFL international combine in Indianapolis in March to try out as NFL kickers and punters.


Rory Beggan and Mark Jackson to try out for NFL teams this weekend – The Irish Times
Rory Beggan


Beggan, 31, is off to North Carolina to wow the Carolina Panthers, while Jackson, 25, will spend the weekend with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The players, who returned to their county teams and competed in this year’s championship, hope to follow in the footsteps of Smyth, 23, who inked a three-year deal with the New Orleans Saints.


Wicklow goalkeeper Mark Jackson invited to train with Pittsburgh Steelers | Irish Independent
Mark Jackson


Began and Jackson are competing in rookie mini-camps for a full-time contract under the NFL International Pathway Program. Jackson impressed the Steelers, who are looking for a rookie kicker, during a pro day in Florida.

The Buffalo Bills recently signed English prospect Travis Clayton. Jackson is reported to be working with Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker’s agent Rob Roche to find him possibilities in the United States.

The Pittsburgh Steelers will organize two American Football camps in Belfast and Cork in June. Current Steelers players will conduct the event and coach participants on skills and tactics such as flag football coaching and drills.


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